Mobile handset maker Sony Ericsson is suing wireless broadband provider Clearwire for trademark infringement.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in Virginia on Friday, Sony Ericsson said that Clearwire's green and white swirl logo is confusingly similar to its own green and white swirl logo.
Sony Ericsson said that it became aware of Clearwire's plans to use a similar logo in late 2009. And in January 2010 it contacted Clearwire to express its protest. Clearwire is building a nationwide wireless broadband network using the technology called WiMax. It sells fixed and mobile broadband services and in May 2010 it announced it plans to sell a mobile phone that uses its WiMax service. In November, the company said that the plan to offer its own mobile phone had been delayed.
Sony Ericsson, which makes mobile phones, says that Clearwire's plans to sell mobile phones that use the Clearwire network and sport the Clear swirl logo will confuse customers, since Sony Ericsson also sells mobile phones.
Sony Ericsson has been using its green swirl since 2001 when it was established as a company by its parent companies: Sony and Ericsson. The company says that its trademark swirl is well recognized in Europe, but it says that in the U.S. where the Clearwire service and products are sold, that it's not as recognizable.
Sony Ericsson is asking the court to stop Clearwire from infringing on its trademark and copyright. It's also asking for at least $150,000 in damages as well as legal fees.
A Clearwire representative declined to comment.