updated 08:50 pm EDT, Thu April 1, 2010
iPhone described as a non-distinctive trademark
Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court has upheld an earlier rejection of Apple's trademark application for the term "iPhone," according to Managing IP. The Trademark Office originally denied the application last summer, claiming the "i" distinction could be interpreted as a generic term for "Internet phone" or "information phone."
Apple appealed the initial decision with the Administrative Court, arguing that "iPhone" still represents an original word, and the letter "i" can have different meanings than Internet or information. The company also requested equal treatment with several other registrations it considers comparable to the iPhone filing.
The court admitted that "i" can have various interpretations, although it will likely be viewed as an obvious descriptive reference to a telephone with Internet or information functions. The single letter was not deemed sufficient to establish the distinctiveness of the mark.
Apple has appealed the recent ruling, which may be reviewed by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.