|iCloud Communications in Arizona has dropped a trademark lawsuit against Apple over the iCloud name. They originally cried foul and claimed "irreparable injury" over the name. Now it appears that iCloud Communications has changed its name to Clear Digital Communications as stated on its Facebook page, or PhoenixSoft. So what happened?
The Phoenix News Times web site has calculated that iCloud Communications gave up, saying "Now, it looks as though the Phoenix firm has wussed out." This doesn't make a lot of sense.
I have to throw the theory out in front of us here that its possible the iCloud Communications and Apple reached an out of court settlement in which Apple pays money to make this go away. I have absolutley no evidence of this (nor does anyone else seem to, at this point), but it seems a fair option to consider. It would probably cost Apple less in the long run, and they wouldn't have to suffer negative publicity from a trial.
The new company PhoenixSoft is mum on the matter, saying they have no comment when speaking to Phoenix News Times. This only throws gasoline on the rumor fire. Out of court settlements usually include an agreement that prevents either party from talking about the agreement publicly.
Another part of this is that since the crux of the iCloud case was based on the fact the iCloud Communications has spent considerable marketing money and felt that Apple's appropriation of the iCloud name invalidated what they had spent. Consider this -- if Apple reimburses the marketing dollars spent through a settlement, iCloud Communications has not only a cash infusion, but hundreds of times the publicity that their original advertising budget gave them. That's the kind of publicity that you just can't buy.
It's also worth considering (on the other side of the fence) that iCloud Communications took another look at the highly profitable Apple with its formidable size (and deep, deep, DEEP pockets) and decided that even if they were in the right, they did not have the money to enter a protracted legal battle with Apple. It's possible that they could have been legally in the right, but would have gone bankrupt in trying to prove it.
One last thing to consider, as Ars Technica http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/09/icloud-communications-ditches-its-own-domain-apple-trademark-suit.ars points out. Even though this was a trademark lawsuit, iCloud Communications never registered the name iCloud as a trademark with US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Someone did though, and the company that did is Apple.
Apple's version of iCloud is expected to go fully live sometime this Fall.
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