Mitac loses Mio trademark suit in Singapore

A Singapore court has ruled against Taiwan’s Mitac International in its bid to prevent operator Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) from using the Mio brand.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the case,” a SingTel spokeswoman said in an e-mail statement. Details of the court ruling were not immediately available. However, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported that in addition to upholding SingTel’s trademark, the court ordered Mitac to pay SingTel’s legal fees.

Mitac, which registered the Mio trademark in Singapore in 2003, said it was not satisfied with the court’s decision.

The court ruled that there is no similarity between the two Mio logos, a Mitac representative said. “We are considering an appeal,” she added.

Mio is the brand name Mitac uses for its line of GPS-equipped smartphones and navigation units. The company rolled out its first Mio product in 2002, and applied for a Singapore trademark for Mio in 2003. That trademark was granted in 2004, according to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Two years later, SingTel applied for a Mio trademark to use with a service that includes mobile Internet, broadband Internet access, landline phone access, and pay TV.

SingTel’s trademark, which was granted in 2007, was initially issued under a different product category than Mitac’s trademark. But on Oct. 30, SingTel modified the trademark, putting it in the same broad product category as Mitac’s Mio trademark, IPOS records show.

(Dan Nystedt in Taipei contributed to this report.)