NY publisher sues Apple over 'iBooks' name trademark

Apple has found itself in another lawsuit regarding one of the names of its products, and this time it's the target of another legal case.

Apple has found itself in another lawsuit regarding one of the names of its products, and this time it's the target of another legal case.

The name in question is "iBooks," which is Apple's e-book reader app and portal to the iBookstore for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

However, New York publisher John T. Colby is claiming that he had the moniker long before iBooks became a familiar term because of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Bloomberg reports:

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.

Colby also noted in his lawsuit that Apple only started using the term in April 2010 after the launch of the first iPad. It looks like he also wants to distinguish "iBooks" from "iBook," which was the name of today's standard MacBook before it was upgraded to its current title.

Apple has not commented about the lawsuit publicly (and it likely won't), nor have financial claims been revealed yet.

Apple was also recently sued over the name of its new cloud-computing solution iCloud, which was previously known as MobileMe. The plaintiff on that side is iCloud Communications, a Phoenix-based VoIP service.

And for just one more example, Apple was sued by Cisco way back in 2007 over the iPhone brand name as Cisco claimed it owned the trademark to that name. Nevertheless, Apple is still selling the "iPhone."

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