Apple, CBS sued over use of ‘Mighty Mouse’

Landover, MD-based Man and Machine (M&M) has filed a lawsuit against Apple and CBS for their use of the term “Might Mouse.” Apple uses the name to describe its computer mouse and CBS uses it for a cartoon character.

Filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, M&M says both Apple and CBS are infringing on its Mighty Mouse trademark. CBS and M&M are currently battling over the trademark, but Apple was brought into the fight because it licensed use of the term from CBS.

M&M recognizes that CBS has a trademark for the use of Mighty Mouse for its cartoon and clothing products. However, CBS has applied for a trademark for the term as it relates to a computer mouse. The application date is later than its own application, according to M&M.

M&M makes computer waterproof computer accessories targeted to hospitals and labs. In 2001 the company developed a waterproof mouse that it dubbed Mighty Mouse. M&M began selling its mouse in March 2004, while Apple introduced its mouse in August 2005.

“Because of Apple’s size, fame and large advertising budget, Apple’s use of the Mighty Mouse trademark has and will continue to overwhelm M&M’s use of its Mighty Mouse trademark and will cause M&M to lose the value of that trademark,” the lawsuit reads.

M&M is asking the court to declare the licensing deal between CBS and Apple invalid and enter a permanent injunction restricting Apple from using the name. The company also wants Apple to destroy all products, packaging, prints, wrappers and signs that infringe the trademark.

While M&M didn’t specify a dollar amount, it is seeking damages, attorney fees, interest and costs.

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