Apple sued for infringing ‘iBooks’ trademark

Apple’s strategy when it comes to much of its i branding has been pretty consistent to date: steal a name, wait for its trademark owner to complain, settle. The Cupertino-based company did it with “iPhone” and again with “iOS,” for example, and now it looks like “iBooks” will play out the same way. New York publisher John T. Colby purchased assets belonging to publisher Byron Preiss several years ago, and included in that buy were more than 1,000 books published under the “ibooks” name. Apple does own a trademark for “IBOOK,” but this trademark covers a PC the company used to sell — the “iBook” — and not books or electronic books. “Apple’s use of the mark ‘iBooks’ to denote the electronic library that can be accessed via its iPad tablet computer and its iPhone is likely to overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs’ ‘ibooks’ and ‘ipicturebooks’ marks and render them virtually worthless,” Colby’s lawsuit states.

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