Apple has lost its iPhone naming rights appeal case against iFone in Mexico, with the Mexican Supreme Court saying that the IT solutions company holds the official rights to the name "iFone" in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The battle between Apple and iFone, which registered its name in 2003, has been ongoing since 2009 when Apple filed a complaint about the company over the use of the name. The complaint backfired on Apple when iFone filed a countersuit, and sought to cease sales of iPhone-branded Apple products in the country.

The Wall Street Journal reports that: "The [Mexican] Supreme Court this week rejected Apple's appeal against the decision at the request of iFone. iFone's corporate lawyer Eduardo Gallastegui said the decision frees the company to continue with its claims, already submitted to the Industrial Institue IMPI, for damages resulting from the use of its name by Apple and by three Mexican mobile phone service providers."

It is not yet clear how iFone and Apple will resolve the issue, or how the court's rejection of Apple's appeal will affect the iPhone's presence in Mexico.  "Our main interest is to defend our brand," said Gallastegui. "Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn't previously approach the company."


Friday's Mexican court ruling is the latest in a string of trademark battle setbacks for Apple in Latin America, following February's ruling that Apple doesn't have the exclusive rights to 'iPhone' in Brazil.

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