|By Maureen O'Gara||
|June 13, 2011 11:30 PM EDT||
Apple reportedly spent $4.5 million buying the iCloud.com domain off of Sweden’s Xcerion before the grand unveiling of its iCloud storage locker last week, but evidently it neglected to pay off a penny ante VoIP outfit in Phoenix called iCloud Communications. So iCloud Communications sued Apple last Thursday for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition and injury to its business reputation.
It wants an injunction. It wants Apple’s promotional material destroyed. It wants damages. It wants Apple to forfeit its iCloud profits. It wants attorney’s fees.
It claims people will be confused. It claims they’re both in the same line of work. It claims “the goods and services with which Apple intends to use the “iCloud” mark are identical to or closely related to the goods and services that have been offered by iCloud Communications under the iCloud Marks since its formation in 2005” – and that “due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple’s announcement of its ‘iCloud’ services and the ensuring saturation advertising campaign pursued by Apple, the media and the general public have quickly come to associate the mark ‘iCloud’ with Apple, rather than iCloud Communications.”
iCloud Communications says it sells “cloud computing products and services, computer telephony (telecommunication) hardware and software for the electronic transmission of e-mail, text, audio, video, photos, information, data, video conferencing, virtual video conferencing and other content via the internet and wireless data networks” and that its “software applications and customer data are hosted at and are accessed through its secure data center and telecommunications hub in Phoenix, Arizona, which was acquired and equipped by iCloud Communications at a cost of over $550,000.”
It told the court Apple bought the US trademark registration for iCloud from Xcerion but claims it had dibs on the mark two years before Xcerion.
The suit also recites Apple’s “long and well known history of knowingly and willfully treading on the trademark rights of others” from the Beatles’ Apple suit through Macintosh, Mighty Mouse, iPhone, iPad and last month iAds and calls iCloud “just one more example of Apple’s ‘act first and worry about the consequences later’ approach to trademark use.”
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