Apple loses against MyPhone in trademark dispute
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – US technology giant Apple lost a trademark case against Solid Broadband Corporation, the seller of Myphone smartphones, according to a May 19 decision from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
An ABS-CBN article quotes Solid Group, the publicly-listed holding company that counts Solid Broadband among its many ventures. In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Solid Group said the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPO) dismissed the case filed by Apple against Solid Broadband Corporation.
Apple had earlier contested the seller's trademark application, claiming that "Myphone" was "confusingly similar" to its Apple's iPhone, and was "likely to deceive or cause confusion."
The article further quotes IPO director Nathaniel Arevalo, who characterized Apple as a "giant" attempting to take over smaller companies. The buying public, Arevalo said, "should be credited with a modicum of intelligence" when purchasing gadgets.
"This is a case of a giant trying to claim more territory than what it is entitled to, to the great prejudice of a local "Pinoy Phone" merchant who has managed to obtain a significant foothold in the mobile phone market through the marketing and sale of innovative products under a very distinctive trademark," Arevalo said.
Apple announced the first-generation iPhone back in January 9, 2007. Case records show that Solid Broadband first applied to register the MyPhone name more than 5 months later, 4 days before the public release of the first-generation iPhone in the US. The IPOPHL, however, ruled in favor of Solid Broadband.
An Inquirer article quotes the decision conceding a similarity with the use of the word "phone," but argued that the word refers to all mobile phones products.
"It is not sufficient to conclude that confusion among the consumers is likely to occur," read the decision.
The IPOPHL added that any confusion is made improbable, given the popularity of iPhone over the local MyPhone.
Sought for comment, Kevin Tan, vice president for MyPhone, told Rappler: "We are just glad that this is over already. We admire iPhone as a global mobile phone brand but we are a unique brand on our own. Inspired by the Filipino people, we create and market our phones the only way we know how to and this is the Filipino way."– with reports from Marga Deona/Rappler.com