Software firm from Japan sues Apple with trademark litigation over the new iPhone X “animoji” feature

A software company from Japan recently sued Apple Inc. – a U.S. – based company, over the trademark for the word “animoji,” used by Apple. It alleged that the technology company from the U.S. stole the term to use it for a feature it is providing in iPhone X. Emonster kk, a Tokyo-based company sued the leading technology company Apple Inc. on October 18, 2017 in the federal court in San Francisco, U.S. It claimed that it holds the U.S trademark on the word ‘animoji’ and that the use of this word by Apple Inc. is a clear “textbook case” of cautious infringement.

A spokesman from Apple refused to comment on the issue. This new animoji feature by Apple enables users to animate the actual facial expressions of the emojis they use with the help of new facial recognition technology. This advanced feature will be incorporated in the iPhone X, which is set to be launched in November this year. Chief marketing officer of Apple Inc, Phil Schiller, recently advertised the animoji feature during the launch event of iPhone X on September 12, 2017, stating that it is rather a “great experience” while communicating with family, friends, or near and dear ones. Enrique Bonansea, the chief executive of Emonster had introduced an animated app for texting in 2014.

The app was widely known as Animoji and had also registered an official trademark on their produce name, as per the litigation. The lawsuit also stated that Apple Inc. was completely aware of this app developed by Emonster as it is easily available for download on the App Store owned by Apple. In a complaint, Emonster stated that, “Apple decided to steal the name and falsely pretend to people that “Animoji” was originally developed by Apple.” In addition, Emonster also said that it is seeking to recover unspecified cash damages as well as a court order that blocks Apple from using the word.

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