iCloud Or iCloned? Apple Sued For Copying


Fresh from Apple’s claims that Samsung infringed its patents by cloning the iPhone and iPad with the Samsung Galaxy phones and Tab, an Arizona-based company has cried foul over the use of the name iCloud, saying Apple has infringed a trademark which it had registered since 2005.iCloud Communications was formed in 2005 and provides, among other “cloud computing” products and services, VoIP hardware and software for transmitting email, text, audio, video, photos, information, data, video conferencing, virtual video conferencing and other content via the internet and wireless data networks to customers based in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. 

The company has filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, saying it knowingly used the name to identify its own services for consumers wanting to store music, photos, video, emails and other types of data in remote servers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The company alleges that the media coverage generated by Apple’s launch of its iCloud services has hurt its own business in cloud services and internet phone calling.

Apple launched its iCloud services at the WorldWide Developer Conference last week with Steve Jobs publicly describing Apple’s vision for its “iCloud” platform.

Among other things, Apple’s press release stated that Apple’s iCloud will “wirelessly store your content in iCloud and automatically and wirelessly push it to all your devices.”  It further states that the iCloud platform will wirelessly transmit and store at its data center email, text, audio, video, photos and other data.

In its complaint, iCloud Communication says: “At the time Apple elected to adopt ‘iCloud’ for its cloud computing telecommunications and data services, Apple was aware of or was willfully blind to iCloud Communications’ use of and rights in the iCloud Marks.”


iCloud Communications states in its lawsuit that “although Apple aggressively protects its trademark rights, Apple has a long and well known history of knowingly and willfully treading on the trademark rights of others — a history which began as early as the 1970s when Apple was first sued for trademark infringement by the Beatles record label, Apple Corp.,”

The case was settled on the condition that Apple should not enter into the music business, but in the 1990s Apple entered the music business and was sued again. 

Apple is also being accused of stealing or copying names such as Macintosh computer from high end stereo maker, McIntosh labs, for which it paid nearly $2 million to settle the suit, Mighty Mouse from the famous cartoon character created by Terrytoon, iPhone, which was owned by Cisco, and iPad, from Fujitsu Frontech North America which had a patent pending on its device.

More recently, the lawsuit alleges, in May 2010, Apple was sued by Innovative Media Group, LLC for infringement of IMG’s federally registered “iAds” trademark after Apple launched its “iAd” mobile advertising program.

iCloud Communications also says the tech giant has tried to circumvent US laws on ‘intent to use’ by registering its use of trademark names in foreign countries.

As stated in its lawsuit, Apple has discreetly applied for a foreign trademark application for ICLOUD via Jamaica, in the same way as it applied for its use of iPhone through Australia, and iAds through Canada.


The suit calls for Apple to “deliver for destruction all labels, signs, prints, insignia, letterhead, brochures, business cards, invoices and any other written or recorded material or advertisements in its possession or control containing the iCloud name,” as well as unspecified payment for damages and any profits Apple makes from its iCloud offerings.



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