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Apple Sued Over iBooks Trademark by a NY Publisher

A New York-based books publisher John T. Colby suing Apple in federal court today over an alleged infringement of their “iBooks” trademark:

“Colby bought in 2006 and 2007 the assets of various entities owned by New York publisher Byron Preiss, who had published more than 1,000 hardcover and paperback books under the “ibooks” name starting in September 1999, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan today.”

The company bought out the assets to the “ibooks” trademark from now defunct publisher Byron Preiss which released a number of book titles with that imprint for several years.

The lawsuit claims that Apple’s use of the iBooks name for its downloadable book library, “is likely to overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs” “ibooks” and “ipicturebooks” marks and render them virtually worthless.” During last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed that there were 130 million downloads of ebooks via the iBook store for the iPad and iPhone.

Patently Apple pointed in April of 2010 to Apple’s “iBooks” and “iBookStore” trademark applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Back then, Apple asserted a claim of priority for iBooks based on Trinidad and Tobago application number 41872, filed earlier that year, probably in an effort to have their “iBooks” trademark claim granted ahead of any possible lawsuit.

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