November 25, 2019
Social Technologies LLC recently filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. ("Apple") accusing the tech giant of falsely indicating that it holds a trade-mark over the “Memoji” mark in the United States.
“Memoji” is the name of Apple’s new personalized emoji feature for iPhone and iPad, introduced as part of iOS 12. Apple has included “MEMOJI TM” in its list of U.S. trade-marks on its website since June of this year. However, Social Technologies is currently the holder of the federally registered trade-mark for “Memoji” and argues that Apple’s inclusion of “Memoji” in its list is misleading.
Social Technologies offers an Android app named “Memoji” on the Google Play store, which the company describes as “the world’s best messaging app that will capture the facial expression of the end user with full-motion capabilities, and transpose the image into a custom, personalized emoji of the user’s actual face”. Social Technologies is seeking a declaration that it owns the only federally registered Memoji trade-mark.
Apple has applied for two Memoji trade-marks with the U.S. Patent and Trade-Mark Office (one being “MEMOJI” and the other being “MEmoji”) but both applications are currently suspended due to the ongoing litigation with Social Technologies.
Authors: Scott Kerr and Duncan Lurie