Clearwire's logo wins a round against Sony Ericsson

A judge denied Sony Ericsson a preliminary injunction in its trademark lawsuit

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has suffered a setback in its lawsuit against Clearwire for alleged trademark infringement concerning the companies' logos, as the judge in the case denied its request for a preliminary injunction.

Sony Ericsson sued Clearwire last month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, saying the WiMax operator copied its corporate logo with the mark for its Clear brand. Both companies' logos use a green sphere with swirling shapes inside.

Today, Clearwire does not sell a branded product in the handset market, which is Sony Ericsson's main business, but it is in the mobile telecommunications business and sells Clear wireless modems. Clearwire has said it will offer branded smartphones, though that introduction has been delayed due to financial constraints.

In addition to damages and Clearwire's profits, Sony Ericsson sought a preliminary injunction to keep Clearwire from using its current logo while the case was being tried. On Friday, the court denied that injunction, Clearwire said in a statement on Friday.

"The judge's findings of insufficient evidence of likelihood of confusion and no irreparable harm further support our contention that the suit is without merit. We expect that the final disposition of the case will be in our favor and that it will demonstrate that the Clear branding is clearly differentiated from the Sony Ericsson brand," Clearwire said.

Clearwire has also filed a countersuit against Sony Ericsson, asking the judge to rule that the Clear logo does not cause confusion or infringe Sony Ericsson's trademark.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Tags legalPhonesconsumer electronicsintellectual propertyClearwireMobile handsetsSony Ericsson Mobile Communications

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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