One of the key features of iOS 11 is the introduction of Animoji. It appears that because of this feature, Apple is now facing a lawsuit from Tokyo-based company that owns the trademark for “Animoji.”
Emonster, the Japanese company, has filed a suit on Wednesday in US federal court. The company says that “Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.” The company’s CEO, Enrique Bonansea, is a US citizen that lives in Japan.
Emonster is an iOS app that launched bank in 2014. The app allows people to send animated emoji’s like GIFs. In order for you to take advantage of such feature, it would set you back $0.99 on iTunes.
The new feature from Apple’s iPhone X is also called Animoji. This feature lets people transform their face into customized moving emoji. This takes advantage of Apple’s face recognition technology that was newly introduced in the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that since both the app and the iPhone X feature are on the same platform, and they offer the same features, the court should make the decision to rule on out and keep the other in.
According to the suit, Apple knew about emonster’s ownership of the Animoji trademark. The iPhone maker offered to buy the trademark, but emonster refused. Apple decided to move ahead with using the name anyways. Even though emonster has owned the trademark since 2015, Apple filed a petition in September to cancel the trademark, the registration is under review. Apple cites a filing error where Emonster registered the trademark to a nonexistent business and therefore cannot actually own “animoji.”
Emonster is now seeking an undisclosed amount of money in damages from the iPhone maker. In addition, the company seeks a court order to block Apple from continuing to use the name.