Mexican carriers can no longer use ‘iPhone’ name in ads

By , Jun 5, 2014

iFone iPhone

As reported by the Mexican publication El Universal, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has ruled that Mexican carriers are no longer allowed to make use of the “iPhone” name, since it violates the phonetically identical sounding “iFone” trademark owned by a small call center in Mexico. The trademark is filed under Class 38, which covers telecommunications services.

To be clear, Apple will still be able to sell the iPhone in Mexico and use its own trademark as it sees fit, but carriers won’t be able to. The basis behind the ruling is that, since Apple is not considered to be a telecommunication services provider, it is acquitted of being at fault. Instead, the IMPI has placed the blame directly on Mexican carriers, which do provide telecommunications services… 

iPhones-iPhone-5-graphite-gold-iPhone-5S-iPhone-5C

The infringing carriers, including Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar, have been fined an undisclosed amount and given fifteen days to remove the “iPhone” moniker from any of their advertising and marketing materials. Not only that, but iFone now has the option to sue the carriers for civil damages. The dispute has been going on for the better part of five years.

iFone filed for its trade name in 2003, while Apple did not release the iPhone until four years later. Nevertheless, in 2009, the Cupertino-based company attempted to gain control of the iFone trademark to avoid consumer confusion. The iPhone maker was unsuccessful at winning that lawsuit, and suffered another blow in late 2012 when it lost a second appeal to have the trademark overturned.

Mexican carriers will still be able to carry and sell the iPhone, but it would appear, based on this ruling, that they cannot address or advertise the smartphone by name. The carriers do have the option to appeal the ruling to the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice, which could delay the process even further. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as the situation unfolds.

What do you think will happen?

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  • Giovanni Barrera

    Qué Mamadas!

    • Negative_Return

      tu madres

      • Jonathan

        You mean “loco”?
        loco = mad
        madre = mother

      • SkyFall

        U Mexican?
        or is it Google Translate?
        or do you also speak spanish?

      • Jonathan

        I’m American.
        I’m learning Spanish.
        :)

      • SkyFall

        Cool. Learning new stuff is always nice. Actually i wanted to learn Spanish too but couldn’t cause i had to learn English. Well now English are finished and I’m curious are Spanish hard to learn?

      • Jonathan

        Well now English are finished and I’m curious are Spanish hard to learn

        Well now English IS finished and I’m curious IS Spanish hard to learn

        is = singular
        are = plural

        Just helping. :)

        Spanish isn’t really that hard. In fact, it’s known as one of the easiest languages to learn. Once you get past the alphabet, learn how to pronouce the letters (rolling the r’s, or “a” like “ahhh” instead of aaaa… You know what I mean? lol
        Oh, and conjugating, that took me a little time to remember. But after that, it’s just the words. =)

        How many languages do you currently know, and if you don’t mind me asking, which ones?

      • SkyFall

        First let me thank you for correcting me. Currently I know Greek (first language, and I also know Ancient Greek (in some countries Greek and Ancient Greek are two different languages)), English, French, a few German, and I want to learn Spanish and, as weird as it may sound Chinese.

      • Jonathan

        Wow, amazing!! I only know English and a fair amount of Spanish. xD
        What makes you want to learn Chinese? Do you travel a lot, or simply something you want to be able to say “I know these list of languages.”

      • SkyFall

        Actually i want to learn Chinese because i like the history of China, the way of thinking the monks have, and because its a interesting language.In addition i might start Kung Fu and i want to know the language that this martial art comes from. Since I’m underaged (I’m 15) i can’t travel anywhere yet.

      • Jonathan

        Ah, cool! :D
        Really? I’m 15 too.

    • Pato_

      chingaderas serio

  • Alan

    A la madre , sonething to do with Carlos slim having a monopoly on cell service :o

    • Oliver Lopez Felix

      carlos slim owns half of apple… checalo en google ;)

      • Alexis

        Check your facts, he only owns 3% of the company.

  • Jason Masters

    I predict apple will no longer call them iPhones instead calling it simply the “phone” so no one can ever sue them ever again and they will be thought of as revolutionary for calling a phone a phone!!!

    • regkilla

      What you doing in here Fandroid?

      • Jonathan

        *fandroid
        forgot the lowercase f. :D

  • regkilla

    Ah no good senor! arriba! arriba!

  • disqus_C4wFgtofdT

    Aha, start your extortion engines…

  • Victor

    I didn’t know we had fellow raza!

    • Alan

      Hispanics are the number one followers of el idownloadblog

      • Nestor Hernandez Hdz

        Claro que si!

  • Oliver Lopez Felix

    I live in Sinaloa, Mexico and the following may sound funny but it’s true… In downtown of my city there are some houses that have security systems and the brand is iFone… The fun part is that this systems are at least 10 years old, maybe 13 or 15 years. i’ll upload a picture tomorrow if i can haha.

    • Héctor Viveros

      Same in Guadalajara

  • evilness9999

    a little of subject here, but im in mexico atm and im trying to use t-mobile’s hotspot in here and it does not allow me to use it. can anybody verify what the issue could be is it prohibited? if it is, any way around it? in the usa hotspot works fine btw thx.

  • RarestName

    It’s ther right to continue using the word iFone.

  • mlee19841

    just use phonei

    • Jonathan

      Or a typo!
      The all new, iPhoen 6!

  • Delfos Sambucetti Arturaola

    Que mamaderas son uno boludos salame a la grasa!!!

  • El Matador

    No Juan cares!

  • Maidenmann

    iPhone is iPhone all over the world, is stupid to think that we (Mexicans or Spanish speakers) should call them ypone. Nobodie pronunciate foreign words literally.