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Trademark could delay iPhone in Canada

updated 06:50 pm EDT, Fri October 12, 2007

Canada iPhone trademark

Comwave Telecoom Inc, a Toronto based company, is claiming trademark rights to the name "iPhone" in Canada -- a dispute that could further delay the introduction of Apple's mobile device there. Comwave is a company that markets a collection of voice-over-internet services and products under the name iPhone. The firm has filed a complaint with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) over Apple's trademark application for the same moniker. The president of Comwave, Yuval Barzakay, told CBC News that sharing the trademark would "not be practically possible [...] because of the reach and extent of Apple's brand marketing," adding "The force they put into marketing would quickly make the brand Apple's and not ours. It's a case of hijacking the brand. If I asked people on the street who owns the iPhone trademark in Canada, they'd all say Apple. And their product isn't even in the market. So co-existence is not possible."

Apple filed a trademark application for the name iPhone relating to a digital electronic device in October 2004. The Comwave complaint was filed in 2005, with the company claiming it had been using the name for its products since June 2004 -- just three months earlier.

Barzakay did, however, say he's open to Apple purchasing the trademark rights, saying "Our position is Apple has one of two choices: they can either walk away from the trademark and let us keep the iPhone name here in Canada, or they can buy the brand from us."

The trademark dispute is secondary to Apple's primary obstacle preventing an iPhone launch in Canada: the lack of a mobile carrier agreement. Rogers is widely expected to carry the device, but no formal announcement has been made.

In Late August, Puremobile, a firm that specializes in selling iPhones not available for sale in Canada, announced plans to peddle unlocked iPhones in that will work on the Rogers Wireless network, apparently with the full, welcome blessing of the latter. Puremobile seems to have already tested demonstration unlocked phones on the Canadian networks, claiming that all of the features work on Fido, with the exception of visual voice mail.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Comwave who?

    Is this another instance of some company trying to make it rich off the "i" moniker?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    inspired by Apple

    After Apple came out with the iMac, many companies were inspired by it, which results in many companies adding an 'i" in front of everything. Besides, the rumors of an Apple phone, or iPhone has been rolling around for a few years.

    So it is them who are copying Apple. Their web site looks like a five hundred dollar job with stock photography. In addition, their "iPhone" is not a phone. It's a VOIP modem.

  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    lame

    I hate comwave now.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Let's sue Comwave

    I never heard of them until now but I have a sudden urge to sue or smash them to pieces.

  1. mr hobbs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not so fast

    wow...what a hostile group. if someone trademarks a name then fair enough. apple needs to do the right thing and make an offer to purchase, rather than stomp all over them.

    the trademark system is there for a reason....to protect intellectual property, especially for the little guy. imagine our outrage if ms was to all of a sudden create a mac like interface....no wait....damn it!

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is not news...

    This should have been known 10 months ago when the iPhone was announced.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    c** wave

    Another lost Canadian nobody.

  1. meadorg

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Good thing I'm not Steve

    I guess you have to be very proper in things like this. If I were Apple, I'd just issue a press release stating that the iPhone would "not be available in Canadian markets due to a trademark complaint filed by Comwave Telecom."

    Then I'd sit back and wait for Comwave to crumble under the backlash.

    When their value hit rock bottom, I'd buy them and release the iPhone.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    mr hobbs works @ cumwave

    What are you doing here Mr. Hobbs? Shouldn't you be looking for a new job?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    talk about lame

    The comments on this are just ludicrous...

    First off, the iPhone will be delayed indefinetly in Canada for no other reason then everything Apple is delayed in Canada (what's the point of a video iPod if YOU CAN'T BUY VIDEO FOR THE THING!).

    But, anyway...

    After Apple came out with the iMac, many companies were inspired by it, which results in many companies adding an 'i" in front of everything. Besides, the rumors of an Apple phone, or iPhone has been rolling around for a few years.

    OK, so your thought is that since Apple created a computer that started with the letter 'i', every name that starts with an 'i' should belong to Apple? I guess you think that no restaurant but McDonalds should start with "Mc" as well. And only Apple can use the term "Mac" or "pod"?

    So it is them who are copying Apple. Their web site looks like a five hundred dollar job with stock photography. In addition, their "iPhone" is not a phone. It's a VOIP modem.

    So they don't have a professional looking web site. And they use stock photography. What is that supposed to imply?

    I hate comwave now.

    Of course. How dare some company trademark a name and use it on a product that Apple MIGHT decide to use three years later???

    I guess you have to be very proper in things like this. If I were Apple, I'd just issue a press release stating that the iPhone would "not be available in Canadian markets due to a trademark complaint filed by Comwave Telecom."

    Then I'd sit back and wait for Comwave to crumble under the backlash.


    OMG, you mac fanboys are really full of yourselves, aren't you. Do you actually think the prospect of a few Canadian cell phone users not being able to buy an iPhone will cause them to....what? Set fire to comwave's offices? Get the parliament to sieze the name for the good of the canadian people? Cause a full-out boycott and picketing to drive the company out of business?

    Did it occur to you that if Apple were to do what you suggest, they'd open themselves up to a possible lawsuit on damages to a company that has done absolutely nothing wrong? Or that possible Canadian customers might boycott the iPhone over the lack of a video store, decent pricing of Apple products, et. al.

    But heaven forbid anyone do anything that Apple might want to do..;.

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