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Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 06/16/2011

Apple sued over ‘iBooks’ name

Apple owns trademarks for iBooks. (MIKE SEGAR - REUTERS)
Apple may have given the world the iPrefix, but it’s had some trouble using it for its own products lately.

Last week, Apple was sued for using the “iCloud” name by an Arizona online phone service. Now the Cupertino, Calif., company is facing another lawsuit, this time over the name of its electronic bookstore, iBooks.

New York publisher John T. Colby purchased the assets of publisher Byron Preiss in 2006 and 2007, Bloomberg reported, after Preiss published over 1,000 books under the “ibooks” name. According to the report, the lawsuit contends that Apple’s use of iBooks will “overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs’‘ibooks’ and ‘ipicturebooks’ marks and render them virtually worthless.”

A quick search on the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office Web site shows that Apple owns two live trademarks for iBooks relating to its online bookstore and one for iBook, the predecessor to the MacBook. There was no record of Colby’s “ibooks” mark, though a search for “ipicturebooks” did return a trademark canceled on Dec. 26, 2009.

Colby filed suit against the company on Wednesday. Apple said it does not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.

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By  |  02:51 PM ET, 06/16/2011

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