Apple sued over Mighty Mouse – but the case smells funny

Apple and CBS are facing a trade mark infringement claim by manufacturer Man & Machine over their use of the name Mighty Mouse.

Man & Machine claims that their rights pre-date Apple’s because they sold a waterproof mouse (pictured) called the Mighty Mouse in 2004 – at least a year before Apple launched its product.

But they have a few problems with their case. Firstly, their trade mark isn’t registered yet – it’s still being processed, and can (and invariably will) be opposed by Apple when ┬áthe opposition period starts next week (on 27 May 2008).

Secondly, why did they wait for 3 whole years before taking any action? Courts don’t like litigants who delay action – credibility suffers when people take too long without very good reasons. Worse, they only filed a trade mark a few months ago (18 December 2007) – why?

It smells funny.

If you have a brand that you want to protect, register a trade mark immediately and don’t wait to strike.

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