The iPhone has been a staple of mobile communications around the world for half a decade. Unfortunately for Apple, it was already a “thing” in Mexico in 2003 when the iFone trade name was registered in Mexico in 2003.
Now, Apple has lost the right to the iPhone brand name in the country. With the two largest Mexican mobile carriers scheduled to start selling the iPhone 5 on Friday, the lawyers in Cupertino have to act quickly to come up with a financial settlement with the telecommunications company or risk major complications both in branding and in sales.
According to Electronista:
Apple has lost an injunction bid that would have allowed it to continue selling iPhone-branded products in Mexico. A court in Mexico City handed down a ruling last Thursday denying Apple’s injunction request on the grounds that the iPhone brand is too phonetically similar to iFone, a brand belonging to a Mexican company that registered its name four years prior to Apple’s filing for the iPhone brand mark. The decision stems from a legal action that Apple initially filed in 2009 requesting that the company cease using the iFone brand in order to head off the possibility of consumer confusion.
It just goes to show that being first sometimes trumps being best.