Developer Suing Apple For iPhone X ‘Animoji’ Trademark Infingements


Apple unveiled the iPhone X last month that captured quite a hype. While the flagship smartphone featured various upgrades and enhancements in terms of both hardware and functionality, the most gimmicky is the Animoji, which is animated emoji. The feature basically mimics your facial actions and turns it into animated emoji. However, a Japanese software company has sued Apple in the United States court over the trademark for the ''animoji'' term. The company states that Apple stole the name and used it as one of the features in iPhone X. So let's dive in to see some more details on the subject.

Apple Sued For Infringing Animoji Trademark In iPhone X

Apple announced the headline feature on iPhone X last month. The developer of the app claims that the Cupertino-based technology company was aware of his trademark. This is because the application rested on the iOS App Store since 2014. In addition to this, Apple also tried to purchase the name. The App Store page for the Animoji app shows that the application was updated in September 2014.

Steve Jobs to be Awarded Posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 7

Instantly reach the people you care about with fun, fully-custom, animated messages. Animoji is a fast, free and easy-to-use tool to animate your text and email messages. Create your own animated text; using any characters, in any language, including emojis. Then send your text via Messages or Mail. The recipient doesn’t need to have Animoji installed to receive the animated message!

Enrique Bonansea applied for registration through his company back in August 2014 which was further granted in March of 2015. The lawsuit was spotted by AppleInsider and is also reported in The Recorder.

This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement. With full awareness of Plaintiffs’ ANIMOJI mark, Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that “Animoji” was original to Apple. Far from it. Apple knew that Plaintiffs have used the ANIMOJI mark to brand a messaging product available for download on Apple’s own App Store. Indeed, Apple offered to buy Plaintiffs’ mark but was rebuffed. Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store. Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used ANIMOJI for their own product. Yet Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself — regardless of the consequences.

In addition to this, the lawsuit also claimed that Apple tried to withdraw the trademark on the bases of the fact that the company that filed the trademark did not exist at the time. This, according to Bonansea, is a technical error where he should have filed the trademark under his original company's name.

Moreover, the company even asked Apple to remove other apps from the App Store that infringed his trademark. Apple's compliance with the scenario points that the company was aware of the trademark. There will be more to the story, so be sure tuned in for more.

This is it for now, folks. What are your thoughts on Apple sued for infringing the Animoji trademark? Share your views with us in the comments.

News Source: The Recorder