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Sony Ericsson sues US ISP over its logo

Throws its green logo out of the pram
Wed Jan 19 2011, 14:38

PHONE MAKER Sony Ericsson has decided that a US broadband firm's logo comprised of a green swirl might confuse punters with its own, so it has taken the ISP to court.

Sony Ericsson filed a lawsuit against Clearwire in the US District Court in Virginia, claiming that Clearwire's logo which consists of a green swirl is "confusingly similar" to its own. Sony Ericsson has used a circular green logo for the best part of a decade and it thinks that Clearwire's logo is "poised to be used in the sale of identical mobile phone products".

Upon inspection it is possible to see a vague similarity in the two logos, primarily due to their circular shapes. However, if you were to believe Sony Ericsson's claim that it was "the only company in the mobile communications business that used a sphere with a swirl logo in green, silver/white colors", then any logo that is circular and green can be deemed to be confusing.

Sony Ericsson admits that Clearwire doesn't flog mobile phones but said that it is "growing quickly and is poised to offer mobile phones to its rapidly increasing customer base".

Conversely the mobile phone manufacturer, which suffered significant losses in market share last year, painted a glorious picture of itself claiming, "due to their superior design and performance, Sony Ericsson's products have received numerous awards". We'll leave up to you to contemplate which products fall under Sony Ericsson's claim of offering 'superior' units as we gave up after 10 minutes.

Sony Ericsson said that the two firms were in discussions to resolve the trademark issue but Clearwire had gone ahead and decided to use the logo anyway without notifying Sony Ericsson. The phone maker claims Clearwire's conduct has caused "irreparable injury" to Sony Ericsson and has "damaged" the firm by a financial amount to be decided at trial.

Despite all its grandiose statements, Sony Ericsson is posturing not for a massive payout but to force Clearwire to change its logo. However, getting some cash out of Clearwire might also help to offset its flagging phone sales. µ


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