Back in 2017 Japan’s Emonster sued Apple for the trademark Animoji that they were granted in 2015. Apple was granted a trademark for Animoji in April 2018. It was a little hard to believe that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would have granted two companies with the same trademark for the same thing.
In another case, we’re now learning that a company out of Atlanta Georgia called ‘Social Technologies’ is suing Apple over the use of the ‘Memoji’ trademark that they legitimately have a registered trademark for now under number 5,566, 242 as noted in the graphic below from the U.S. Patent Office.
Their original TM filing was made on April 01, 2018 and given the serial number 86961925. On Apple’s history for Memoji with the U.S. Patent Office under serial number 87397135 we clearly see that the U.S. Patent Office sent Apple two “Suspension” Letters (on June 5 and June 26) to basically say sorry, application serial number 86961925 for the same Memoji trademark was filed by One Monkey LLC before your application.
While Apple usually has a foreign filing on record from Jamaica or elsewhere as a priority filing, Apple’s original trademark filing with the U.S. Patent Office shows that wasn’t the case this time or wasn’t listed on the application to USPTO.
And yet Apple had told Social Technologies in a letter, according to their lawsuit, that they had a priority date for the trademark. If that was true, then why is Apple not on record not responding to the USPTO Examiner, who sent them a suspension letter, not once, but twice (Sept. 2017 and again in Sept. 2018) saying that they already had a prior application for this trademark on record and that Apple’s application for the trademark was being suspended? One Monkey had originally filed for the Memoji trademark way back in 2016.
With the U.S. Patent Office making it clear that Apple’s Memoji trademark filing can’t proceed and can’t be approved, it looks as though One Monkey has technically won.
Yet there’s some confusion over why One Monkey LLC filed for the Trademark and yet it was Social Technologies that received the Memoji Registered Trademark from the U.S. Patent Office. The Question becomes, who is One Monkey LLC?
If there’s any confusion, it rests with the fact that one company filed for the trademark application and yet another one was granted registered status for it with no explanation on record as to what the connection is.
In the end, Social Technologies is suing Apple for Trademark Infringement claiming that Apple is causing confusion in the market with Memoji as to who owns the trademark. Social Technologies released Memoji on Google Play back in late June of this year.
Below you will find the full trademark infringement case brought on by Social Technologies for you to review.
The trademark infringement lawsuit reported on today was filed by Social Technologies, LLC, on September 27, 2018 in Northern California. At the point, no Judge has been assigned case # 3:2018cv05945.