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Emonster sues Apple for violating Animoji trademark

22 October 2017

One Japanese software company has sued Apple in a USA court over the "animoji" trademark and stressed that the known technology giant stole the name for its iPhoneX feature. Bonansea claims he was approached by more than one company this past summer about selling his trademark. The company's CEO is a U.S. citizen living in Japan and is listed as a plaintiff in the suit.

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About a month ago, we were introduced to the "most advanced facial recognition technology put on a phone" - the Apple iPhone X and its Face ID camera. The App Store page for the Animoji app shows that the application was updated in September 2014. So you can send a particular emoji by choosing the right GIF and this feature will work till you see the emoji in your iOS device. The App costs nearly $0.99 on the iTunes. Still available for $0.99, Animoji - Free Animated Texting [Patent Pending] is described as a "fast, free and easy-to-use tool to animate your text and email messages". This feature lets user choose a particular Emoji and it will turn this emoji into real life expression as per your choice.

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Relatively what the new iPhone X feature does is transform the user's face into a customized emoji, copying the expression given by the user. Apple itself removed an ANIMOJI-infringing third party app from Apple's App Store after Plaintiffs requested it. 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. The suit points out, however, that the now dissolved "emonster Inc." and current Japanese corporation, "emonster k.k.", acted as a single commercial enterprise when the mark was first filed. The Japanese software company apparently made an error when filing the trademark, registering it to a non-existent business which leads Apple to believe they can't actually own the term. "Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used ANIMOJI for their own product". Here is an excerpt from the lawsuit: This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement.

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Reuters later noted that the rumor may have triggered a 1.5 percent drop in Apple's stock price in pre-market trading. Apple are probably hoping that their fans will be upgrading to the new iPhone X when it goes on sale in November.

The Complainants note that Apple is the classic example. There will be more to the story, so be sure tuned in for more.

Emonster sues Apple for violating Animoji trademark