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Sony Ericsson, Clearwire settle logo suit

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 8:20am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Sony Ericsson has dropped its trademark lawsuit over Clearwire's logo after filing a complaint over the emblem in January.

The handset maker withdrew its complaint after Clearwire testified in a Virginia court that it had no near-term plans to come out with a Clearwire-branded smartphone.

"This representation effectively provided Sony Ericsson with much of the emergency relief it sought," Sony Ericsson said in a statement. "Sony Ericsson remains focused on preventing consumer confusion and protecting its trademarks, especially in the field of mobile devices."

Sony Ericsson sought an injunction against Clearwire's use of its "confusingly similar" logo earlier this year, arguing that similarities between the two companies' logos would confuse consumers if Clearwire were to launch a smartphone. Both companies use logos with a silver-white sphere and a green swirl.

Sony Ericsson did not say whether it would file a new complaint if Clearwire revived its smartphone plans.

The handset maker's legal battle with Clearwire dates back to 2009, when Sony Ericsson contested Clearwire's trademark application for a logo similar to its own. Clearwire agreed to stop using the symbol and dropped its application for the logo, but continued to use nearly identical branding in advertisements, prompting Sony Ericsson to file suit.

Clearwire suspended the launch of its own branded smartphone last November as it weathered a cash crunch that threatened its ability to stay afloat. The WiMAX operator said in February it would leave its smartphone plans on the backburner in an effort to conserve its capital resources.

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