Animoji: Apple sued by Emonster

A Japanese company owns the registered trademark Animoji in the United States. A few days ago denounced Apple for using that word to name the new iPhone X feature.

The Tokyo-based company, Emonster, filed the lawsuit in US federal court last Wednesday. The company stated:

Apple made a conscious decision to steal the name for its own purposes.

let’s take a step back …

Emonster owns aiOS app call Animoji, launched in 2014. This allows people to send animated emojis in a loop, like a GIF. The application prompts the user to compose the message formatted as a line of code in Python or Javascript. To be clear, smileys made up of brackets and punctuation. The app costs $ 0.99 on iTunes. The functionality Animoji of iPhone X allows you to turn your face into emoji on the go using Apple’s facial recognition technology.

Both the Animoji application and the iPhone X functionality are found on Apple platforms. Both involve animation in motion therefore the court will have to rule on the matter. According to the lawsuit, Apple was aware that Emonster owned the Animoji brand because the app had been in the Apple Store for years. Apple allegedly offered the aforementioned company to buy the brand, but after the latter’s refusal it continued to use the name.

Emonster has owned the Animoji brand since 2015. As of September Apple has filed a petition to cancel the registration of the trademark, therefore the same is under review. Apple said that due to a storage error, Emonster has registered the trademark for a non-existent business and therefore cannot actually own Animoji.

Emonster is asking an unspecified amount of money for damages and a court order to immediately prevent Apple from continuing to use that name. We will continue to follow the story for any developments.