Apple sued over 'iCloud' trademark

Apple has been sued by an American communications company for allegedly infringing its trademark name iCloud for its new online storage services.

An Arizona-based firm, iCloud Communications, filed a lawsuit against the technology giant last week, arguing that they have been using the name iCloud in the "computer and electronic data transmission" space long before Apple announced its wireless syncing service at the start of this month.

Apple has already used the iCloud name to identify services for customers who want to store music, images, video, emails and other types of data in remote servers that they access over the internet. The iCloud service will be free and available in the autumn.

The internet calling firm, which said its business had already been hurt by the confusion surrounding the name, said Apple knew that iCloud Communications held the trademark on the name before it decided to use it. The firm said: "Due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple's announcement of its 'iCloud' services and the ensuing saturation advertising campaign pursued by Apple, the media and the general public have quickly come to associate the mark 'iCloud' with Apple, rather than iCloud Communications."

An Apple spokesman said the company does not comment on "pending litigation".