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Mexican Supreme Court rules against Apple in trademark case, iFone seeks damages

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iPhone 5 closeup stock 1020
iPhone 5 closeup stock 1020

The Mexican Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's decision that Apple couldn't register a trademark for the "iPhone," ruling instead on the side of iFone, a relatively small call center company based in the country. iFone expects the victory will bolster its separate trademark infringement case against Apple and three Mexican mobile carriers, in which the company is attempting to receive damages. It's unknown how much money the Mexican company is looking for, but its corporate lawyer told The Wall Street Journal that the law provides for an award of at least 40 percent of infringing sales.

The case upheld today by the Supreme Court was originally brought by Apple's lawyers in 2009 as an attempt to have iFone's trademark canceled, claiming that it wasn't being used. Despite today's decision, Apple still has the right to sell the iPhone in Mexico — in fact, it holds two separate trademarks in Mexico for "iPhone." Had Apple won this case, it would have been able to file for a third trademark covering telecommunications services, which is the type of trademark that iFone holds. Today's news follows a legal battle in Brazil over the "iPhone" mark as well — Apple lost exclusivity to the trademark last month, and it is said to be nearing a settlement.