MANILA — It’s like a battle between David and Goliath of the tech world.
In a recent trademark case, Philippine company Solid Broadband Group — the makers of My|Phone — just won against international tech giant Apple.
According to Apple, the brand name “MyPhone” was “confusingly similar” to its world renowned iPhone, which is “likely to deceive or cause confusion.”
Solid Broadband launched My|Phone in 2007, making it the first ever locally branded mobile device in the country.
On May 19, the Philippines’ Intellectual Property Office (IPO) dismissed the case. The report was only disclosed to the stock exchange on Tuesday, June 2.
“This is a case of a giant trying to claim more territory than what it is entitled to, to the great prejudice of a local “Pinoy Phone” merchant who has managed to obtain a significant foothold in the mobile phone market through the marketing and sale of innovative products under a very distinctive trademark,” IPO director Nathaniel Arevalo said in an ABS-CBN report.
“While the marks are similar with respect to the word [‘phone’], it is not sufficient to conclude that confusion among the consumers is likely to occur. ‘Phone’ is a generic term for products mobile phones,” he added.
Arevalo also said that Apple should give credit to the “intelligence and discernment” of consumers when it comes to knowing the difference between My|Phone and iPhone.
“The buying public should be credited with a modicum of intelligence and discernment in purchasing articles, such as gadgets and mobile phones… The fame and popularity of iPhone in fact makes it improbable for one to confuse my|phone product as an iPhone,” he pointed out.
By law, Apple can still appeal the IPO’s decision within 30 days after receiving the decision. Otherwise, the decision will be final.