Berlin, 21st November 2018: On 21st November, the Braunschweig District Court announced its decision on the legal dispute between e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH, a radio network operator from Berlin, and Apple Inc. from Cupertino, California: The medium-sized Berlin business’s complaint against the multinational corporation was accepted and heard. The court in Braunschweig dismissed the claim at first instance.
“We regret the District Court’s decision. As soon as we have further details on the grounds for the judgement, we will analyse them and decide how to proceed,” says Dr Dietmar Gollnick, CEO of e*Message.
From e*Message’s perspective, the key issue of the legal dispute is not trademark law, but the fact that its company name had been registered more than a decade earlier, i.e. long before iMessage. Had the case been reversed, e*Message would have made enquiries about similar sounding company names in California and expected the same from companies joining the market later on.
The present case regards the confusion of the company name “e*Message” with Apple’s messenger service “iMessage”. e*Message is a medium-sized business based in Berlin, has been on the market since 2000 (established in 1999) and operates Europe’s largest security radio network, as well as sector-specific messaging services which can be received on mobile devices like pagers, for example. The company works on the basis of the Federal Network Agency’s frequency allocations and is one of four mobile network operators in the country.
e*Message believes its rights relating to its company name were infringed, since customers confuse the pager and iPhone services.
The hearing, including gathering of evidence, took place at
the Braunschweig District Court on 19th September 2018 (AZ 9 O 1818/17).
e*Message had filed its lawsuit at the civil court in 2017.
A number of applications are based on the hybrid use of several mobile networks, as will become apparent once again at the PMRExpo trade fair in Cologne this coming week. The contributions at CritComms, the first ever paging congress in a digital format, also attest to this.
The e*Message Wireless Information Services GmbH (e*Message Europe) operates Europe’s largest security radio network. As one of four mobile network operators on the German market, e*Message maintains a satellite-based radio network with around 800 transmitting stations throughout Germany which is independent from public networks. e*Message provides specialised messaging services focusing on security, mobile organisation solutions and integrated solutions. This allows individuals and groups (e.g. doctors, authorities, fire services, winter maintenance services, service personnel) to be notified, warned and alerted reliably, quickly and accurately via digital devices. Established in December 1999, e*Message took over both the Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom’s paging services in 2000 and has been developing them continuously. The corporate group’s operating centres are located in Berlin and Paris. Further information is available at www.emessage.de.
e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH
Schönhauser Allee 10-11
Tel: +49 30 4171-0
Fax: +49 30 4171-1933
Hoschke & Consorten Public Relations GmbH
Tel: +49 40 36 90 50-38