The Dickinson Wright team of Craig Phillips, Edward Perdue, and Steven Lustig successfully defended client, Lowtech Studios – creator of the highly popular mobile phone game app slither.io, from a trademark challenge by World’s Hero SA and its owner Hans Stuffer. Lowtech had been using the trademark “SLITHER.IO” in connection with its app and was in the process of registering that trademark in the U.S. and Internationally. Stuffer filed a complaint with Apple, Inc., under Apple’s intellectual property policy, claiming that Lowtech was infringing Stuffer’s trademark rights and demanding that Apple cease selling the slither.io app through the App Store. Before filing his complaint, Stuffer filed a trademark application for protection of “SLITHER.IO” in Switzerland – a country where Lowtech had not yet filed an application. Stuffer asserted his application as the sole basis of his complaint, and there was no evidence that Stuffer was ever using the trademark. Stuffer made numerous claims to Apple that he was being harmed, and he tried to use Apple’s procedures like court proceedings – which Apple resisted. However, Lowtech was able to take advantage of the “priority” provisions of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which enabled Lowtech to file an application for trademark protection in Switzerland and claim a constructive filing date that was earlier than Stuffer’s. That filing gave Lowtech the superior rights it needed to prevail. Faced with a later filing date and inferior trademark rights, Stuffer capitulated, withdrew his complaint with Apple, and assigned his trademark rights to Lowtech, all only a few months after initiating the dispute.
About The Author
John Krieger Gives Presentation at the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA) Spring Conference
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