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Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 06/13/2011

Apple sued over ‘iCloud’ brand

Barely a week after announcing its new iCloud computing service, Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging it has “willfully” disregarded another company’s use of the “iCloud” brand.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona by a company called iCloud Communications, asks the court to order Apple to immediately stop using the iCloud brand due to “confusion among consumers.”

iCloud Communications is a Phoenix-based provider of online phone service. Apple, as iCloud points out in its complaint, is “the most highly valued technology company in the world,” last trading at a total worth of more than $301 billion.

Nevertheless, Apple’s use of the iCloud name for its new wireless content storage service — unveiled last week at Apple’s annual developer conference — is causing iCloud Communications “irreparable harm” because of the confusion it has raised between the two companies’ respective iCloud services.

“In fact, iCloud Communications has received numerous inquiries from both existing and prospective customers regarding whether it is now owned or affiliated with Apple,” lawyers for iCloud wrote in their complaint.

If Apple pays iCloud Communications monetary damages, legal fees and stops using the iCloud name, the two companies will be square, according to the complaint.

A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

By Cezary Podkul  |  12:17 PM ET, 06/13/2011

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    © 2011 The Washington Post Company