Sony Ericsson sues Clearwire over logo trademark

By on January 20, 2011, 8:00 AM
Sony Ericsson has sued Clearwire for using a logo that allegedly violates trademark and copyright laws. Both companies use a similar sphere/swirl design, except Sony Ericsson has branded its products with the logo for longer and it thinks Clearwire is undermining the investment it took to etch the image in customers' minds.

"Sony Ericsson has spent millions of dollars on advertising and sponsorships to create goodwill and build an association with its sphere with swirl marks in the minds of consumers," the company said. Clearwire's logo is "confusingly similar."

That confusion will only be exacerbated when Clearwire launches its upcoming mobile phone. "Unless enjoined, [Clearwire's] current and announced conduct will confuse consumers and cause irreparable harm to Sony Ericsson."

Logos: Sony Ericsson (left) and Clearwire (right)


In fact, Sony Ericsson believes it has already suffered damage and is seeking at least $150,000 in compensation. That's cash Clearwire probably can't afford to part with, having just implemented various cost cutting measures.

Interestingly, Sony Ericsson said it confronted Clearwire about the logo in 2009 and the wireless Internet provider agreed to change its image. Apparently, that adjustment never happened or it simply wasn't drastic enough.




User Comments: 23

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princeton princeton said:

Ok that's insane. How about nvidia sues them both for using the color green. The logos aren't really alike other then the colors used.

Guest said:

Enix should sue them ALL!!! they've been around longest

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

Enix should sue them ALL!!! they've been around longest

I actually laughed at that. Nice one :P

Guest said:

You have to be blind or stupid to not be able to tell the difference between the 2.

bakape said:

Guest said:

You have to be blind or stupid to not be able to tell the difference between the 2.

Which supposedly describes their target market.

Guest said:

Quote:

Guest said:

You have to be blind or stupid to not be able to tell the difference between the 2.

Which supposedly describes their target market. [\quote]

That would be a great legal defense.

CW: Your honor we are sorry that Sony Ericssons target mark is both blind and stupid, as they are unable to tell the difference between the two logos.

Lurker101 said:

I hope Sony lose this court case too

Cota Cota said:

Thats is, screw you Sony, im going home.

yowanvista yowanvista said:

Totally stupid with those lawsuits

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

First time I'm seeing either logo frankly. As a tabula rasa, I vote not the same.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Clearwire's logo is "confusingly similar."

Um, not really. They look pretty different to me. Clearwire has an obvious swirls, where Sony has a...um...not sure I would exactly call that a swirl. Plus, Clearwire always has "Clearwire" under their logo.

"Unless enjoined, [Clearwire's] current and announced conduct will confuse consumers and cause irreparable harm to Sony Ericsson."

Can you say "drama queen"?

In fact, Sony Ericsson believes it has already suffered damage...

Yeah...i'd very much like to see the proof there.

Interestingly, Sony Ericsson said it confronted Clearwire about the logo in 2009 and the wireless Internet provider agreed to change its image. Apparently, that adjustment never happened or it simply wasn't drastic enough.

You better have the request in writing so you can prove it. And if you did indeed tell them to change it, you obviously didn't set any sort of strict guidelines.

If Sony can prove they contacted Clearwire and CW didn't do as asked, then Sony does have a slight chance at winning for copyright purposes as long as their copyright is legit and not too general. Otherwise, I think clearwire is going to be laughing through this whole thing.

Vicenarian said:

"...and is seeking at least $150,00 in compensation."

Wow...they must be really broke.

Guest said:

Go ahead and sue them over that stupid toilet freshener logo.

CamaroMullet said:

Yeah, that's pretty crazy. Sony has got to be hard up for cash. Stupid law suits. Remember when that lady sued McDonalds for like $121981912131 dollars for ordering coffee, then getting burned because there was no indication on the cup saying that the coffee was hot. Fing stupid people.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

The two are clearly different ... just looks like a couple of marbles to me anyway. What's next, does Sony plan to copyright the color red?

Guest said:

@CamaroMullet

About the Mcdonalds Coffee, there actually a reason why McDonalds got in trouble, and it wasn't due to just missing "hot" on the cup. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

princeton princeton said:

Mizzou said:

The two are clearly different ... just looks like a couple of marbles to me anyway. What's next, does Sony plan to copyright the color red?

cough...alreadymadecolorjoke...cough :P

Mizzou Mizzou said:

cough...alreadymadecolorjoke...cough :P

Oops ... missed it.

princeton princeton said:

Mizzou said:

cough...alreadymadecolorjoke...cough :P

Oops ... missed it.

I was just kidding around. But your comment was correct, it's simply such a dumb claim that copyrighting a colour in a logo isn't far off.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

I was just kidding around. But your comment was correct, it's simply such a dumb claim that copyrighting a colour in a logo isn't far off.

That's cool ... but honestly it really seems that Sony is constantly working our courts to achieve their goals.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Talk about Greedy, nuff said

myGodwhatisnext said:

in the words of the late Rick James..... SonyE..... Cocaine is a terrible drugs... your executives need to stop snorting and work on your products.... sheesh...

nismo91 said:

the logo aren't much alike.

beside SE logo are nothing spectacular. i got a SE bluetooth headset and I wish i could erase the logo.

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