Social Technologies LLC, a digital-based enterprise known for bringing creative social media products to the marketplace, has recently filed a lawsuit at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by claiming that Apple is fraudulently and improperly using Memoji as a Registered Trademark without even owning the mark in the country. To be specific, the firm claims that Apple has falsely marked Memoji by including it in the Apple Trademark List on its official website and has attempted to defraud the general public to Social Tech’s detriment.
Social Technologies has created an Android app called Memoji. In its complaint filed, it has emphasized that Apple is using the encircled R symbol, which denotes a registered trademark corresponding to Memoji on its website instead of using a TM or SM symbol, which denotes a service mark or trademark that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hasn’t necessarily granted.
The lawsuit filed highlights that Apple was aware of the significant differences within the trademark list page’s text, which instructs for either using the listed items only with the appropriate symbol in publications distributed within the US or otherwise including an appropriate trademark attribution notice. Besides, including the Memoji mark in the list has made the case more complicated in connection to a previously filed lawsuit by Social Tech in 2018 over the matter in the Northern District of California.
As per the complaint, Social Technologies had checked the trademark list page on 17th June 2019 and saw Memoji was not there in the list, which was a day before Thomas La Perle, Apple’s Senior Director of Trademark and Copyright, had to give a deposition related to the California lawsuit. However, immediately after the deposition, Social Tech claims that Apple updated its list to include the supposed fake designation of Memoji.
The lawsuit further raises the issue of Apple’s extensive advertising of Memoji in promoting iPads and iPhones and using it as a mascot for the entire brand. The complaint has four listings for ’cause of action’ including:
- False Designation of Trademark as Federally Registered
- Dilution of the Memoji Trademark
- Violation of New York General Business Law
- Unfair Competition
As of now, Social Technologies LLC is seeking monetary damages, attorney’s fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and expenses, an injunction to prohibit Apple and its agents from using the registration symbol in connection with Memoji, and the declaration that Social Tech is the only Trademark Holder of the federally registered Memoji trademark.