Apple sued by Japanese firm over 'Animoji' feature in iPhone X

Apple sued by Japanese firm over 'Animoji' feature in iPhone X

Apple sued by Japanese firm over 'Animoji' feature in iPhone X

The company is the owner of the trademark for "Animoji" in USA and suing Apple for using the "Animoji" to name its iPhone X feature.

Emonster k.k., owned by a U.S. citizen living in Japan named Enrique Bonansea, alleges that Bonansea came up with the term "ANIMOJI" in 2014 and registered it at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the following year.

The company owns an iOS app called Animoji, which lets people share emojis, which are animated like GIFs. It now enjoys a 4-star rating, from the seven people who took the time to rate it. Apple filed for a cancellation of the "Animoji" trademark one day prior to announcing the highlight iPhone X feature at a special event in September.

According to The Recorder this is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement. "With full awareness of plaintiffs" Animoji mark, Apple chose to take the name and pretend to the world that "Animoji' was original to Apple", the lawsuit read.

Bolstering Bonansea's claim is the assertion that Apple in 2015 even removed a third-party app that made use of the Animoji name in response to a complaint from Bonansea. Rather Apple offered to buy Plaintiffs' mark but was rebuffed. This is because the application rested on the iOS App Store since 2014. The complaint adds that he had planned to release an update at the end of 2017, but cut the process short to rush out a new version shortly after Apple's announcement.

In the lawsuit filed in a USA federal court, Emonster said: "Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself". He believes these companies were fronts were Apple. Apple has also tried to purchase the Trademark from the officials, however they have fairy denied the trademark deal at that time and Apple has used the same trademark without their permission or the official agreement which is something uninteresting to the Emonsters. According to the lawsuit, Apple sought to cancel Bonansea's trademark based on his company not existing at the time it was filed. The new iPhone X carries Face ID feature which recognises your Facial Expressions and works accordingly. It is a biometric security scheme that is not available on any previous iPhone models, including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Against Apple filed the lawsuit for the use of the brand Animoji.

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