Apple Sued by Japanese Tech Company Over iPhone X Animoji’s

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Image via The Verge

A Japanese-based tech company filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the company stole the term “animoji”, which is used as a feature on their new iPhone X.

Last week, Apple released the iPhone X. The newest installment in their iPhone series features wireless charging, an infrared camera, hardware for facial recognition and a steep price of $999. The phone also features the brand new “animoji” feature which uses facial recognition technology to allow users to animate their facial expression with emoji’s (as seen in the video below).

The whole thing is quite silly to me, but Tokyo-based Emonster K.K. does not see it as funny. The company sued Apple on Wednesday in a federal court in San Francisco, claiming they own the U.S. trademark for the term animoji and that Apple’s infringed upon their trademark.

In, 2014, Emonster chief executive Enrique Bonansea launched an animated texting app called Animoji and registered a trademark on the product name in 2015. Bonansea’s trademark is still live and covers “computer application software for mobile and cellular phones and handheld computers, namely, software for use in animating, processing, and transmitting images.”

Image via USPTO

The suit contends that the tech giant should have had full knowledge of Emonster’s app because it is available for download on Apple’s App Store.

“Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple,” Emonster said in the complaint.

And they make a good point. Since they have an active trademark on the term, they definitely have an actionable suit. However, it will still be up to a judge to decide if Apple infringed on the trademark.

Emonster said it is seeking unspecified money damages and a court order blocking Apple from using the term while the lawsuit is pending.

What do you think?  Did Apple infringe on Emonsters trademark? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

What is trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.

What happens when a trademark is infringed upon?

1. A court order (injunction) that the defendant stop using the accused mark

2. An order requiring the destruction or forfeiture of infringing articles

3. Monetary relief, including defendant’s profits, any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and the costs of the action; and

4. An order that the defendant, in certain cases, pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.

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