Apple sued over iCloud trademark infringement
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the target of a new lawsuit alleging its fledgling iCloud digital media storage platform infringes on existing trademarks.
Apple's iCloud allows users to sync content on Apple servers for access on multiple devices.
A suit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona by Phoenix-based VoIP provider iCloud Communications contends that Apple's iCloud initiative copies its brand and creates consumer confusion: "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," the filing states. "However, due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple's announcement of its 'iCloud' services and the ensuing 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."
The iCloud suit adds "Apple has a long and well-known history of knowingly and willfully treading on the trademark rights of others," noting that the company previously reached settlements with The Beatles over use of the Apple brand and with Cisco Systems over the iPhone trademark. The iCloud filing seeks an injunction against Apple's continued use of the iCloud name along with unspecified monetary compensation.
Apple reportedly spent $4.5 million to acquire the iCloud.com web domain from Swedish firm Xcerion. The free iCloud solution, introduced last week as a replacement for Apple's premium MobileMe, automatically syncs content on Apple servers for access across iOS devices as well as Macs and PCs--each day, iCloud Backup backs up all of the user's iOS devices over Wi-Fi, storing content including purchased music, apps and books as well as photos, videos, device settings and app data. In addition, Apple's App Store and iBookstore now download purchased iOS apps and books to all authorized devices, not just the unit on which they were purchased.
Also new: iTunes in the Cloud, which enables consumers to download previously purchased iTunes music to all iOS devices at no additional cost. New music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all devices as well. For music downloaded from sources other than Apple's digital storefront there's iTunes Match, which essentially mirrors music files with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version culled from the iTunes Store, which now tops 18 million songs--iTunes Match also uploads unmatched music.
Apple's iTunes in the Cloud is available now; Apple will launch iTunes Match this fall, priced at $24.99 per year. Apple did not indicate when or if it will add film and television content to iTunes in the Cloud.
- read this CNet article
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