Following this Monday's WWDC revelation of iOS 5 and iCloud, it turned out that the iCloud name, which Apple purchased from Xcerion (who renamed their product to CloudMe) towards the end of April, was intended for Apple's new successor to MobileMe. However, Apple forgot about this other company that also called themselves iCloud. Specifically, Arizona-based iCloud Communications.
On first glance, both iCloud from Apple and iCloud Communications deal with communication and networking over the Internet. But the similarities, in a strictly tech sense, end there. iCloud Communications provides VoIP services for businesses. On the other hand, iCloud from Apple is a cloud computing service - the term 'cloud computing' being a fairly recent term. The first public use of the term "cloud computing" was by Google in August 2006. iCloud Communications began offering their services under the 'iCloud' name in 2005.
Nevertheless, despite the apples and oranges comparison in play here, iCloud Communications is pushing ahead with a lawsuit over the potential "customer confusion" Apple's iCloud will have on its company. On Friday, AppleInsider dug up the details of what iCloud Communications is seeking. They are demanding all profits and "advantages" from Apple's use of the iCloud trademark, plus the "destruction" of all marketing materials related to iCloud.
This is far from being the first time Apple landed itself in trouble over introducing a new "iProduct" without checking for any prior trademarks. That hasn't stopped Apple from going ahead with the names. In most cases, they simply licensed the use of the name from other companies - iOS and iPhone from Cisco, and Mighty Mouse from Disney. And so this case is headed in a similar direction - a monetary settlement for iCloud Communications.
Logo Credit: Apple