New York Publisher John T. Colby filed a lawsuit against Apple in federal court in Manhattan today for trademark infringement over the use of “iBooks.” Colby’s suit alleges that in 2006 and 2007, he purchased assets owned by another New York publisher, Bryon Preiss, who had published more than 1,000 hardcover and paperback books under the “ibooks” name starting in September 1999.
Apple does have a trademark on “IBOOK,” but according to the suit, it only applies to computers. (Apple once sold a PC known as the “iBook). Colby alleges that Apple didn’t use the term to apply e-books or a means of delivering e-books until the iPad debuted last year. If Apple starts applying it to e-books and apps, the suit says it will render Colby’s trademark worthless. But that’s not the only trademark suit Apple got smacked with this week.
Apple was also sued for a trademark infringement on “iCloud” by a Phoenix-based VoIP company. Don’t feel too bad for Mr. Jobs, though. After all, this is the same company that sued Amazon over the use of the highly-original, proprietary term “App Store.” In their injunction to stop Amazon from using the term, Apple said, “Consumers of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon’s mobile software download service is sponsored or approved by Apple.” Somehow we feel like the giant Amazon logo will set them straight.