According to ‘The Recorder’, Apple has been recently accused by Enrique Bonansea and his Japanese company named “Emonster k.k.” over the trademark infringement of the Animoji App which was sold on Apple’s App Store. Bonansea mentioned that Apple allegedly tried unsuccessfully to buy the mark and later sought its cancellation at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
This news came after a couple of weeks from the release of Apple’s latest iPhone X which includes a new feature that helps in animating emojis of the user.
According to the Japanese company, earlier Apple Store approved an app named “Animoji” which already implied that Apple should have been aware of the existence of the similar feature and consequently the trademark of the app.
Bonansea also believed that in summer 2017, different law firms including Emoji Law Group LLC approached developer of Animoji app and tried to purchase the trademark – these companies might be working on behalf of Apple. Apparently, the owner of Animoji app refused to sell the trademark but was later threatened to cancel the proceedings if he continues doing so.
A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Susman Godfrey LLP partner Oleg Elkhunovich reads as “This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement. With full awareness of plaintiffs’ ANIMOJI mark, Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple.”
Also according to the source, Apple filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Animoji trademark, on 11th September a day before when Apple iPhone X was unveiled.
Till now, Apple has been hit with numerous lawsuits but the recent one in particular seems to have some legitimacy to it. However, we will love to see how Apple responds back with the situation.