You may have read our earlier blog post about Apple’s trademark troubles in Brazil. In Brazil, a company called Gradiente beat Apple to the Brazilian trademark office and registered the name iPhone long before Apple released their mega-hit mobile phone. Because Gradiente was the first to obtain a trademark registration, they are entitled to exclude Apple from using the “iphone” mark in Brazil. Since we last wrote about this story, Apple has been able to bring its considerable resources to bear and the two companies are currently in negotiations over a deal that would allow Apple to use the brand in Brazil. But just when Apple appears to be resolving that problem, a new issue has emerged for Apple’s trademark attorneys in Latin America.
That’s ogooglebar! If you’ve had recent conversations with your Swedish friends, you may have heard this term. In fact, it’s become so commonly used in Sweden that the Swedish Language Council planned to officially add it to the Swedish language. The English translation basically means ungoogleable, something that you can’t find through the use of a search engine. With our ever increasing reliance on internet searches it’s a useful term, but it is also a term that Google wants to make sure is handled with appropriate care. That’s why Google’s trademark attorneys recently contacted the Language Council asking them to reference Google’s status as a registered trademark and to change the definition from all search engines to Google specifically. This was not a vanity move by Google, but rather a move to protect their trademark registration.
Before Google came around, the only place you were likely to hear the word “android” was at a sci-fi convention. But the term has become popularized since Google branded its smartphone operating system ANDROID. Commercials and advertisements for the newest smartphones promote devices offering the latest version of Android along with a host of other features. Due to the popularity of the operating system, Android has become somewhat of a buzzword. But as it turns out, geeks and nerds weren’t the only ones using the term Android before Google and now Google will need to consult its trademark attorneys because it is facing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
Apple Inc.’s trademark attorneys must be working overtime. In the last few months we’ve seen Apple involved in trademark issues in China, Brazil, Mexico and now at home in the United States. The most recent issue stems from Apple’s trademark application for the iPad Mini, the baby brother to the ubiquitous iPad. Apple was previously able to secure a trademark registration on iPad, but recently an examining attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected Apple’s attempt to register IPAD MINI.