Apple Wins iBooks Trademark with New York Book Publisher

The New York Book Publisher case against Apple has ended Wednesday with a victory for the Fruit Company. The plaintiff, Black Tower Press, lost its request for injunctive relief and corresponding damages.

A U.S. district court judge decided that Apple should win the iBooks Trademark case intended by the already-mentioned New York Book Publisher. Judge Denise Cote decided that the “ibook” mark owned by Black Tower is not confused with Apple’s “iBooks” trademark used in online e-book store.

Apple iBooks platform

The judge granted in the 71-page ruling judgment that Black Tower failed to demonstrate the resemblance of consumer confusion as the publisher failed to present the fact that Apple has used its ibook term.

Black Tower Press sued Apple in 2011 suggesting that Apple has used the term of “iBooks” to describe its e-reader platform, and the Fruit Company has violated the trademark they acquired in 2006 and 2007. According to the application intended back in 2011, the publisher of science fiction and fantasy titles suggested the fact the trademark was granted along with other various assets of Byron Preiss. The respective author has published more than 1,000 books under the “iBooks” brand.

Within the process, Apple proved that the company did not begin to use the term in order to describe an electronic book or method of delivering electronic books until 2010. The judge argued that the Black Tower Press had offered no evidence “that the consumer who use Apple’ iBooks software to download eBooks have come to believe that Apple has also entered the publishing business and is the publisher of all the downloaded books”.

In order to conclude, the judge stated the fact that the terms “ibook” and “iBooks” mean different things and consumers are not likely to confuse them. While the first term suggests an e-book referring mostly to a digital book purchased online, the iBooks term refers to the software that allows users to purchase digital books.

The ruling also pointed out the fact that both BlackTower and the previous owner of ‘iBooks” failed to prove a registered trademark for the name while Apple received the rights over “iBook” from a software maker in 1999.

As the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show, the “ibook” record was designed to describe science fiction books. The application was filed in 1999, but it was listed as abandoned in 2003. Based on another report, Apple filed an application for ibook in 2010 and it described “software for reading electronic publications on digital electronic devices”.

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