Notwithstanding an ongoing trademark dispute, Apple Inc’s iPhone is scheduled to launch in Canada later this year. The service will be offered by Rogers Communications Inc., the only Canadian carrier using the Global System Mobile (GSM) communications standard needed to run iPhone. The device has sold more than five million units worldwide since its launch in 2007.

We previously reported on the challenges facing Apple in seeking to register the IPHONE trademark in Canada. Apple applied to register the trademark in October of 2004 on a proposed use basis but the application was opposed by Comwave Telecom Inc., who claim to have been using the trademark in Canada since June 2004.  Comwave filed an application to register the trademark in November 2005. If Comwave can prove that it has prior use of the trademark, and that Apple’s IPHONE trademark will cause confusion in the market place, then Apple’s application could be refused.

More recently, both Apple and Comware filed additional applications in Canada and two new applications to register trademarks containing the term iPhone, and, have been filed by third parties. A Delaware-based company called Ocean Telecom also applied to register an iPhone trademark in July 2007 but this application was subsequently assigned to Apple.

Apple was previously involved in a dispute with Cisco Systems in the United States regarding ownership of the IPHONE trademark. The dispute was settled when the parties agreed to share the trademark.

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