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A Japanese company is suing Apple over ‘Animoji’ trademark

WHILE APPLE USUALLY serves up nothing but good news about emojis, we find the firm in hot Japanese waters this week over the use of the work Animoji, which is apparently a trademark that belongs to a Japanese chap and has been for some years.

Animoji is fairly new to Apple, having been added as an animated emoji option for the iPhone X. It lets users turn emoji’s into a moving thing, and according to reports this extends to the poop one.

Apple Insider reports on this assault on Apple, explaining that the rights holder has had an app on the Apple store for some time and that this should mean that Apple is aware of its existence and use of the name. The report adds that the complaint has been filed by plaintiffs emonster k.k. and Enrique Bonansea, a US citizen living in Japan, against Apple. It will play out in the Northern District of California.

The papers argue that Apple arbitrarily nabbed the best name that it could from an easily accessible list. It feels that it is very much the losing party here.

“Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store,” says the complaint.

“Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used ANIMOJI for their own product. Yet Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself — regardless of the consequences.”

Apple Insider reports that emonster’s Bonansea has claimed to have been approached by fronts for Apple looking to buy the Animoji thing. This is not covered in the court papers.

What is, is that emonster and Bonansea seek a permanent injunction against Apple’s use of Animoji, damages, profits attributable to the mark and court fees.  

Normally all emoji news is good news, and we usually just get to cover new ones that are remarkably representative but are not real substitute for words and language, µ

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