According to AP, a Kiwi who came up for a case which keeps mobile phones from getting wet wanted to trademark the idea by dubbing it the “driPhone”.
Hayden Crowther, of Hamilton, New Zealand, created the driPhone as a sturdy, waterproof case for smartphones of all flavours. But Apple is opposing the trademark claiming that the letter and the sound that the letter i makes was actually invented by Steve Jobs.
It does not seem to have a problem with him using the letter y with the i sound and has asked him to call the case the dryPhone.
Apple hired Wellington-based patent and trademark attorney firm Henry Hughes to oppose the driPhone trademark in New Zealand. Crowther thought there was “little weight” to Apple’s opposition and that Cupertino was going through the motions to preserve its position.
Apple thinks that the driPhone name “would be likely to deceive or cause confusion” and was “contrary to New Zealand law” – although dryPhone was not.
The letter said that the “the applicant’s trademark, or an essential element of it, is identical or similar to a trademark that is well-known in New Zealand [iPhone]”.
Crowther is planning to tell Apple to go forth and multiply and he does not want to rebrand because the y takes more space than an i.
He was also continuing with his plans to register the trademark in the rest of the world.
Apple is not the only company to claim that it owns the letter i. Intel had a go at it a while back but was not successful.