Apple sued over iCloud name By Steven Musil, CNET on June 14th, 2011 (11 hours ago)

posted Jun 14, 2011, 2:14 AM by Robert Braxton

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

iCloud Communications, a Phoenix-based voice over IP (VoIP) 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 that: "Apple has a long and well-known history of knowingly and wilfully treading on the trademark rights of others," noting that the Cupertino, California, company has been sued by The Beatles over its use of the Apple name, by Cisco Systems over its use of the iPhone name and by Terrytown over its use of "Might Mouse."

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in the US 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 US$4.5 million to acquire the domain from Sweden-based Xcerion before last week's unveiling of the service, which is designed to make it simple to wirelessly share music, email, photos, calendars and other data between handheld gadgets and desktop computers.