Uh oh. Apple has asked for reconsideration of its trademark application for the word “iPhone” by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court. They were denied, with the court maintaining that the term is a non-distinctive word for which Apple could not be granted a trademark.
The Court rejected the application for the class 9 goods on the grounds that “iPhone” will be immediately understood by consumers as describing a telephone with Internet or information technology-related functions, and accordingly represents a non-distinctive, descriptive indication.
Apple has argued that the prefix “i” can have numerous different meanings, all of which seem equally likely to the addressed market circles. The Managing Intellectual Property site (http://www.managingip.com/Article/2456399/IPHONE-mark-held-inherently-non-distinctive.html) says that, according to Apple’s argument, the numerous possible meanings of the mark will evoke various different associations in the addresses, resulting in uncertainty as to the meaning of the mark.
The Swiss Federal Administrative Court’s decision has been appealed by Apple to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. It will have the last word on the matter, says “Managing Intellectual Property.”