Nokia

(NYSE:NOK) has filed a lawsuit in Tel Aviv District Court against the Israeli company Nokia Ltd. and its shareholders. The multinational demands that the Israeli company change its name and accuses the Registrar of Companies of failing in its duty to prevent registration of a misleading name.

Nokia claims that the Israeli company, incorporated in 1990, chose its name in order to piggy-back on the multinational's excellent reputation. Nokia accuses the Israeli company of infringing its copyright and brandname.

The multinational claims to have discovered the alleged Israeli imposter when it came to register a subsidiary in Israel, and found the name Nokia Ltd. already taken.

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The multinational also claims to have learned that Nokia Ltd. registered its brandname as Nokia, using the same logo as the multinational. The Israeli company's brandname was recently terminated only because it failed to pay the requisite fees to the authorities, Nokia claims.

The multinational Nokia also alleges that the Israeli company is in fact nonfunctional, and that the clear goal of its shareholders in registering it as Nokia Ltd was to ride on the name the multinational built for itself throughout its 150 years of activity. In practice, Nokia claims the Israeli company is trying to extort a payment for forgoing its name.

Nokia says it demanded that the shareholders change the Israeli company's name due to infringement of copyright, but they refused, claiming that the multinational is infringing the rights of the Israeli company.

Nokia is petitioning the Tel Aviv District Court to rule that the Israeli company is breaching its rights, and order it to change its name. Nokia also alleges that the Israeli Registrar of Companies failed in its duty under law to prevent the registration of names that mislead or can lead to fraud. No defense has been filed yet.