New Zealand Inventor Wins Lawsuit vs Apple Over driPhone Trademark

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 18, 2013 10:27 AM EST

Lawyers of South Korean tech giant Samsung should perhaps take a lesson or two from a New Zealand inventor who has the distinction of winning against Cupertino-based Apple in a legal battle.

The Register reports that Hayden Crowther won the case before the Intellectual Property of New Zealand which favoured the inventor of waterproof phone cases sold under the trademark driPhone.

Apple objected to Mr Crowther's application to trademark the name on the ground that it "would be likely to deceive or cause confusion" and it is tantamount to passing off his product with an entity that did not permit him to do so.

However, in his defense, Mr Crowther stressed that his trademark DRIPHONE could be distinguished from the iPhone trademark of Apple since his does not use the small letter "i" as a prefix. And the upper cased "I" in DRIPHONE has no reference to the Internet or other smart technology, but part of the world DRI, a phonetic spelling of DRY which is a reference to the waterproof quality of DRIPHONE cases.

YouTube/Paddle Guy

Mr Crowther won a NZ$ 2,950 damage from Apple and crowing or bragging rights to having beaten a Goliath of the technology world.

The loss of Apple - which could appeal the decision - comes on the heels of the Cupertino-based firm's court victories in Korea and the U.S. against arch rival Samsung.

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