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Apple wins 'iBooks' trademark case leveled by New York book publisher

A U.S. district court judge on Wednesday handed down a summary pro-Apple judgement in a case involving the "iBooks" trademark, denying plaintiff Black Tower Press its request for injunctive relief and corresponding damages.

iBooks

Black Tower Press' "ibooks" (left), and Apple's "iBooks" (right).


In the 71-page ruling, Judge Denise Cote noted the "ibooks" mark owned by Black Tower would not be confused with Apple's "iBooks" trademark use for the online e-book store, thus negating the publisher's suit against the Cupertino company, reports GigaOm.

Black Tower first filed suit against Apple in 2011 after the iPad maker announced the introduction of iBooks. The publisher argued that the name infringed on its own "ibooks" moniker which was acquired as part of a 2006 purchase of another publishing house.

As pointed out in the ruling, both Black Tower and the previous owner of "ibooks" failed to garner a registered trademark for the name, while Apple acquired the rights to "iBook" from a software maker in 1999 to be used in selling its line of colorful laptops. Apple bought the trademark outright in 2010 ahead of debuting the iBookstore and iBooks.

In her ruling, Judge Cote noted the word "ibooks" was descriptive of books sold over the Internet, and since Black Tower only used the term to in reference to a logo, its argument was denied. Further, the jurist said consumers would not be confused by the two companies' products, one of the arguments asserted by Black Tower.