Animoji : Emonster sued Apple over trademark, but neither company owns the .com

Apple announced the use of “animoji” – animated emoji – as one of the selling points of its upcoming iPhone X.

Animated emojis are generated by attaching the facial movements of a real person’s video onto a graphic, and animating it into a GIF.

A Japanese company is suing Apple for its use of the name, which they have trademarked.

Tokyo-based company, Emonster, filed the lawsuit last week in a US federal court, stating that “Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.”

Emonster is led by Enrique Bonansea, CEO, who is an American citizen living in Japan.

Apple denies that such infringement took place, and attempted to have the US trademark canceled.

The fun part: Neither Apple or Emonster own the matching domain name, Animoji.com, which was registered in 2013. The domain, however, appears to have been parked at GoDaddy until at least 2016, according to Screenshots.com.

It currently carries a message from its owner, Grant Long:

Since 2012, Grant Long has been a pioneer of digital and visual communication. First, as head of product for Swyft Media, the startup that introduced brand stickers and emoji to the world – fueling ’emoji’ to the title of 2015 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year. Eventually, Swyft was acquired by Monotype, a historic leader in communication technologies and design.

Grant is co-founder and current chief strategy officer of Biaoqing Yun – China’s “Expression Cloud” – serving over 800 million animated GIFs EVERY DAY, through API integrations with Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and more.

Animoji.com is Grant’s continued exploration of animation and emotional self expression, launching soon worldwide.

Details about the Emonster lawsuit can be reviewed below.

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