American in Spain

Makers of "ipHone" sue Apple

January 22, 2007

Back in 2001, a small start-up in North Carolina, called Mage Web Development, began developing an algorithm, similar to that of traceroute, to locate the fastest path across the internet between two IP addresses. They called it "IP Hone" and they registered the trademark "ipHone". Legal experts say that this lawsuit could be much more devastating for Apple than that of Cisco. Ted Thomas, the attorney leading the case for Mage, explains that "Apple's big mistake here was to assume that the trademark search functionality at the US Patent Office was case insensitive. They searched for 'iPhone' and only found Cisco's expired trademark. But if they had searched for 'ipHone', they would have found Mage's trademark." Unfortunately for Apple, even if the trademark search engine is case sensitive, the law is not. According to US trademark law, Mage holds all rights to any case combination of these six letters (e.g. "IphOnE").

What Steve Jobs might not know is that Ted Thomas has won all 423 of his 423 trademark and patent cases, an astounding record. The patent clerk we interviewed, told us that Thomas, for his perfect litigation record, is known as the "Trademark Tycoon" around the US Patent Office.

Legal analysts on Wall St. have been unable to find a way out for Apple. Apple's stock has already begun falling since the Mage vs. Apple case has been officially filed. When we contacted Apple directly, the only comment they made about the case is, "We are very concerned."

This article is a hoax. Nothing about it is remotely true.