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Apple sued over use of iCloud name

Arizona VoIP provider claims Apple's use of the iCloud name copies its name and causes confusion over competing products.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

An Arizona company has sued Apple over its use of the iCloud name, claiming the tech giant's use of it infringes on its trademark.

iCloud Communications, a Phoenix-based voice over IP provider, alleges that the name of Apple's recently announced online storage service copies its name and causes confusion over competing products:

The goods and services with which Apple intends to use the "iCloud" mark are identical to or closely related to the goods and services that have been offered by iCloud Communications under the iCloud Marks since its formation in 2005. However, due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple's announcement of its "iCloud" services and the ensuing saturation advertising campaign pursued by Apple, the media and the general public have quickly come to associate the mark "iCloud" with Apple, rather than iCloud Communications.

iCloud Communications claims "Apple has a long and well-known history of knowingly and willfully treading on the trademark rights of others," noting that the Cupertino, Calif., company has been sued by The Beatles over use of the Apple name, by Cisco Systems over use of the iPhone name, and by Terrytown over use of "Might Mouse."

The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court of Arizona, seeks an injunction against Apple's use of the iCloud name, as well as an unspecified amount of monetary compensation.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In late May, Apple filed for the trademark rights to the iCloud name with the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union, listing various classifications, including one for "electronic storage of data, text, images, audio, and video; storage services for archiving electronic data; information and consultation in connection therewith."

Apple reportedly spent $4.5 million to acquire the iCloud.com domain from Sweden-based Xcerion before last week's unveiling of the service, which is designed to make it simple to wirelessly share music, e-mail, photos, calendars, and other data between handheld gadgets and desktop computers.

iCloud Complaint