The smartphone market is very litigious. Taiwanese company HTC Corporation (“HTC”) filed a declaratory judgment action against Samsung in Washington last week. The lawsuit came on the heels of receiving a cease and desist letter from Samsung regarding HTC’s “Inspire” line 4G android cell phones. In its lawsuit, HTC seeks a judgment that it can use the “Inspire” trademark and such use will not infringe Samsung’s “Inspiration” trademark and will not cause a likelihood of confusion for consumers.
HTC initially unveiled the “Inspire” trademark in January 2011. Samsung did not attempt to challenge HTC’s registration of the “Inspire” trademark. It had not used its “Inspiration” trademark for four years. Accordingly, HTC likely thought it was in the clear. HTC’s certificate of registration for “Inspire” issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month.
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