Apple has to face a lawsuit for violating an existing Animoji trademark. Yesterday, the lawsuit was filed by the law firm Susman Godfrey LLP. This was on behalf of Enrique Bonansea, the owner of Monster k. k.
Now, the name Animoji is chosen by Apple for 3D animated emoji characters – to be made available on iPhone X. And, back in 2014, as per his claim, Bonansea selected the same name. That’s not all, as he even registered it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office the next year.
Bonansea has been using Animoji as a messaging app available in iOS Store – since 2014. According to the lawsuit, Apple had an awareness of the app and tried to purchase the trademark just before revealing the iPhone X.
An excerpt from the lawsuit reads – “Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store. Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used ANIMOJI for their own product. Yet Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself–regardless of the consequences.”
The Animoji app of Bonansea has more than 18,000 downloads. It is designed for sending animated texts. During the 2017 summer, Bonansea was approached by companies like The Emoji Law Group LLC, attempting to buy the moniker trademark. The American citizen residing in Japan believes that these companies could be coming up on behalf of Apple.
Naturally, he didn’t sell his app, and he says he was threatened with a canceling process if he maintained his choice. Apple did file a petition with US Patent and Trademark Office on September 11 to cancel the trademark.
Bonansea trademarked Animoji under ‘emonster, Inc,’ –
a Washington corporation and presently defunct. On this note, Apple’s petition says that the monster firm had no existence when the registration for the trademark was filed initially.
On the other hand, Bonansea states that it was a mistake that Animoji wasn’t filed under his Japanese company, Monster k. k. Apparently, a cancellation proceeding of the trademark is still pending.
As per the lawsuit, Bonansea planned to reveal an updated version of his Animoji app by this year-end. But, he had to pace up and come up with a new app ‘so that Apple did not further associate the Animoji mark in the public’s minds with Apple.’
This led Bonansea to suffer through causing ‘irreparable injury’ while he had to be on course with the release of an unfinished product. He is looking for a permanent resolution to prevent Apple from using the trademark Animoji, alongside attorney fees and damages.