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."
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.