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Motorola dragged into court for Xoom trademark infringement

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
February 25, 2011
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To Xoom or not to Xoom, that is the question -- and Xoom Corporation says Motorola needs to ditch the name of its new Honeycomb-laden slate. That's right, Xoom has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit asking for monetary damages, a temporary restraining order, and / or a preliminary injunction to spoil Moto's release party for its new tablet. In case you're curious, Xoom (the company) does seem to predate the slate by a good bit: it's been operating its online payments business under that name and has owned the www.xoom.com domain since 2003. Xoom got a registered service mark for its money transfer and e-payment services in 2004.

But what about that Xoom trademark Motorola filed last year for mobile computers and related accessories? Traditionally, courts give priority to the first user to register a mark, so Xoom Corp. certainly has a case here, but we're not so sure they'll be able to prove that consumers are likely to be confused. To find out, the court will look at multiple factors to determine the likelihood of confusion: the strength of Xoom's mark, the similarities between the two marks, the proximity of Xoom's services and software to Moto's tablet in the consumer marketplace, evidence of actual customer confusion, and the similarity of the marketing channels used by Moto and Xoom. Honestly, we can't see Moto marketing the Xoom tablet to anyone looking for online payment services (aside from the occasional Android Market purchase) so Xoom Corp. has a tough road to hoe, but stranger things have happened -- we'll see how it goes.



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