Apple Faces UK Trademark Spat Against Wapple

We have already seen Apple fighting over its iPad trademark in China. The technology giant had also been fighting against mobile website specialists Wapple over the intellectual property theft. However, Apple has seen its complaint against Wapple dismissed by Intellectual Property Office, putting an end to a four year long legal battle for the UK-based company.

It was back in 2007, when the Cupertino-based tech giant challenged Wapple’s trademark application, accusing mobile-focused company for using its brand and name to gain popularity. The mobile website specialists Wapple devised it name as an acronym for WAP that stands for ‘Wireless Application Protocol’. It was a precursor to the mobile internet we have today, while the company was established in May 2004.

Considering the fact that Wapple aids creating mobile websites for devices, such as iPhone, Apple claimed that the company would get additional promotion by utilizing a similar name to its own. The claim made by Apple seem a little absurd considering the fact that Wapple started operating almost three years before the launch of iPhone.

COO of Wapple, Anne Thomas said, “We are overjoyed with the result and incredibly proud. The case is a victory for truth over tactics. Self-belief is always critical when establishing and growing any technology business and even more so when you are early to market as we were.” She further added, “The action taken by Apple Inc. to oppose our trade mark has tested our resolve and we are delighted with this outcome.”

Paradoxically, Wapple has helped Apple competitors Microsoft and Google in developing different mobile services and it is pretty sure that these big names were not confused by is name. Even Wapple itself says that “none [of its] customers have confused its identity with Apple’s.”

It is important to note here that if Apple had still been successful in its three oppositions against the company, Wapple made certain that the Hearing Officer costs were awarded to it.

On the other hand, the Hearing Officer made a strong statement for the Cupertino-based tech giant, “this provides a clear warning that parties must be sensible about costs when embarking on disputes before the Trade Marks Registry.”

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