Apple may be ordered to discontinue iPhone sales in Mexico

Apple may be ordered to stop selling iPhones in Mexico

Apple just lost a court battle to use the iPhone name in Mexico due to another company already owning the trademark to the name iFone, which they say is similar enough to argue a ban. This could mean that Apple will be ordered to cease sales of the iPhone in Mexico.

Back in 2009, Apple filed suit for the company to discontinue use of the iFone brand arguing that it was too simliar to their own brand. The problem lies in the fact that the company had owned the trademark as far back as 2003. The Mexican company then decided to countersue Apple for damages, and they won. The damages could end up totaling over 40% of Apple sales of the iPhone in Mexico.

The decision could have a considerable impact on the Mexican smartphone market. Telcel and Movistar, numbers one and two among Mexican carriers, are scheduled to begin selling the iPhone 5 on Friday. It is not certain how quickly the sales ban will go into effect or if the two companies will come to some sort of financial settlement.

Basically, if Apple and the Mexican company can't come up with an arrangement or agree on terms, Apple could be ordered to stop selling the iPhone in Mexico. Apple has long been known to use its financial influence to acquire patents, branding, and many other license types. Considering the firm's initial demands for damages amounted to almost 40% of iPhone sales in Mexico, the price to settle may be much more.

It's still unclear how soon Apple would be ordered to stop sales in Mexico and whether or not an agreement will be reached before that time comes.

Source: Electronista

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple may be ordered to discontinue iPhone sales in Mexico

26 Comments

Considering Mexico, & indeed all of Latin America is a rapidly growing market for smartphones & Apple in particular, you are in sore need of a reality check.

I actually agree that they should simply pull the phones to prove a point - that the iPhone would add more to the Mexican economy than the iFone and that some of these rulings are simply doubling down on dumb.

That point would be "when a legal fight we picked goes against us, we have enough money to ignore the very laws we tried to use as a club."

Until you've pissed off enough gov't regulators they decide to come after those profits. See Microsoft in the 90's for a good reference.

and I'm pretty sure that the owner of Telcel (largest wireless service provider in Mexico), Carlos Slim (the richest man in the world) cares too :)

Yes Apple care about having to give away 40% for their profits.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that giving away that amount is a deal breaker.

Yes Mexico can live without the iPhone and the rich can always get theirs from Amazon perhaps. /s

Last night a couple of thousands cared enough to forego sleep in my city alone.

Right now I'm in the middle of another couple of hundreds who care, too.

I need a couple more hours...

That's a lesson to be learned for apple.. stop suing companies. its fine in US where u can win n do things wid ur money power. but out of USA ppl have started seeing u as a cry baby who cant compete wid products widout court.

this lawsuit was a very stupid one by apple. however, to stop suing companies that are actually infringing on patents? oh yes, lets just ignore the reason for patents and just let everyone take what they want and steal from others! that'll be great!

and 'wid' is not a word.

what does that have to do with anything i just said?

so again, since you didnt read anything, so you're saying, just because they havnt won that many outside of the US, they should stop fighting over the ones that are legit?

so by your own meaning, the police should stop going after any criminals if they dont catch all of them?
you're saying the fire department should stop fighting fires if they wernt able to stop all the fires?

you want apple to just let companies freely take and infringe on any patents apple has? apple shouldnt fight it at all because they havnt won them all??
(again, this particular one is stupid and apple was moronic to try and fight over the ifone name)

Serves them right for trying to strong arm these guys, Apple obviously didn't check their facts prior to making demands. Kudos to the iFone folks for standing up for their rights and giving Apple a taste of its own medicine.

Apple's lawyers seem to have a pretty poor track record lately. Guess they were hired based on their ability to intimidate and whine more so than their ability to understand law.

Kudos, little guy!!!

I have a bunch of iOS devices and quite some Apple stock, but I'm rooting for the iFone company. The audacity of Apple to just sue the rightful copyright holder and hope they run off is sickening. They should know better. What if a Mexican cartel owns iFone?

http://www.ifone.com.mx/frameset_productos.htm

The above links proves that iFone does not compete with Apple regarding smartphones. The mexican company's name is similar to the american company's flagship product, that's the bottom line of the newsflash. Thus, each company's marks stand for separate things: identity (iFone's company name) vs. goods (Apple's iPhone line). Since iFone compares apples (no pun intended) with oranges, then I assume iFone just wants money and the mexican court are being pro-nationalist instead of impartial. The real and legal bottom line is that neither competes in either's market (AltiGen product line, VS smartphones). One does not intrude in the other's market, given the goods both produce. They are not commercial rivals in any way whatsoever.

Apple started this whole suing charade, now every company is trying to sue apple. Litigate instead of innovate.

I agree, Mexico! Who cares? Third world no forth world narco dollar dictatorship. If an ecceptable compromise can't be be reached then let the Mexican people fight for their right to own an iPhone. Those with the cash can just order them from outside of that wasteland and to hell with any Mexican company getting any part of the booty that is being associated with apples iPhone. So screw ifone.