Animoji or Enemy-moji: Apple sued by Japanese Company

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This time on the platter for you isn’t some ingenious idea by Apple, rather a very serious notion; Apple is sued by a Japanese company! The company is the owner of the trademark for “Animoji” in US and suing Apple for using the “Animoji” to name its iPhone X feature.

While Apple has brought forth nothing but good news regarding the emojis so far, even in the last iOS 11 beta update, users were gifted with a bundle of cool new emojis, this time around this does not seem the case. For the Tokyo based company Emonster claimed that “Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself,” while filing a lawsuit in the US Federal Court on Wednesday.

The company owns an iOS app called Animoji, which lets people share emojis, which are animated like GIFs. The app works by asking the user to give a message much like a code, with different expressions separated by parentheses. The App costs almost $0.99 on the iTunes.

Relatively what the new iPhone X feature does is transform the user’s face into a customized emoji, copying the expression given by the user. Apple’s face recognition technology allows for such amazing yet funny things to happen on the new iPhone X.

The TrueDepth camera in iPhone X brings emoji to life in a fun new way with “Animoji”. Working with A11 Bionic, the TrueDepth camera captures and analyses over 50 different facial muscle movements, then animates those expressions in a dozen different “Animoji”, including a panda, unicorn and robot.
According to the lawsuit, since both the apps share the same feature and involve animated emojis, the court has to rule out one, as The Verge reported on Friday,

“The lawsuit alleges that because both the Animoji app and the iPhone X feature are on Apple’s platforms, and because they both involve moving animation, the court should rule one out.”

Apple Insider reports on this assault on Apple, explaining that the rights holder has had an app on the Apple store for some time and that this should mean that Apple is aware of its existence and use of the name. The report adds that the complaint has been filed by plaintiffs Emonster k.k. and Enrique Bonansea, a US citizen living in Japan, against Apple. It will play out in the Northern District of California.

“Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store,” says the complaint.

“Apple could have changed its desired name prior to its announcement when it realized Plaintiffs already used  for their own product. Yet Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself — regardless of the consequences,” according to the complaint.

For now, Emonster wants an unnamed amount of money as a make up for the damages caused so far and at the same time wants the court to admonish Apple from using its name for the App.

Not much progress has been made lately on the lawsuit, its interesting to see how Apple would face the lawsuit and how would it answer to the claims made against it. Usually the emoji world and its news is full of fun and excitement, yet this time around we find ourselves entangled in the web of a lawsuit.

Time would tell which side was at the right. Till then, wait up on our latest updates for the trial and the related news, stay tuned and enjoy the weekend!!

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