driPhone trademark battle rumbles on

Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012
Hayden Crowther and his driPhone
NO CONFUSION: Hayden Crowther shows off his driPhone.

Relevant offers

Small Business

Getting a small business started Ask the Expert: exporting doesn't have to happen alone Celebrating a year of fashion success with Harman Grubisa Is working from home causing tension in your family? Excellent food safety gives competitive edge to Kiwi SMEs Pizzacarto mobile truck keeps Drexel traditions under new owners Young woman starts pet poo removal business Kilbirnie sets up business improvement district for economic growth Naveya & Sloane drive growth by personalising luxury Sustainable clothing store defies fast-fashion

Apple has offered the Hamilton inventor behind the waterproof smartphone case called driPhone an undisclosed wad of cash to change the name in New Zealand.

The American personal computing giant is also offering to pay for Hayden Crowther, who has sold thousands of the waterpoof cases from his www.driphone.co.nz website, to resubmit his registration for a trademark in New Zealand under a new name.

But Crowther, who refused to detail the offer publicly, intends to wait and see what a commissioner of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand makes of the case which he became aware of on December 23 last year.

Apple, founded by the late Steve Jobs, said it objected to his registering the driPhone name in New Zealand because it sounded like its iPhone brand.

Apple made a similar offer earlier in the year, asking Mr Crowther to change the letter "i" to a "y", but he rejected that.

Now Apple has come back to the table with a similar offer, which he is refusing to detail.

"I have got it registered in Australia and registered in Mexico but Apple have objected in the European Union," Crowther said.

At the same time Apple's trademark solicitor, Sam McQuilkan, of Henry Hughes trademark and patent attorneys in Wellington, has made a statutory declaration against Crowther.

In it, McQuilkan said Crowther had applied for the trade mark in lower case letters, driphone, but used an upper case letter P on his website, driPhone.

McQuilkan also quotes a Waikato Times feature on Crowther, published last January, in which Crowther announced plans to make a waterproof iPad case called the driPad.

He has since decided to call it the driTab.

Crowther denies consumers are confused by the brand name.

"Not one person has asked me if driPhone is part of Apple," he said.

"Their objection has only given me a lot of publicity and brand recognition which has enforced the point that I am not part of Apple."

Ad Feedback

- Waikato Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you feel better off than at this time last year?



In some areas yes, others no

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content