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Xoom Sues Motorola Over New Tablet Computer With Same Name

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Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Xoom Corp., operator of a money-transfer website, sued Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for trademark infringement for naming its new tablet computer that went on sale today the Xoom.

Xoom Corp., based in San Francisco, said it has been offering its online service since 2003 and registered the trademark for the name in 2004, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco.

“To confuse and mislead consumers, Motorola without authorization deliberately and unlawfully appropriated Xoom’s trade name and trademark rights,” the closely held company said in the complaint.

The Xoom tablet went on sale today in the U.S. through Verizon Communications Inc.’s wireless unit to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPad and rival devices that, like the Xoom, run on Google Inc.’s Android software. Xoom.com allows users to transmit money through the website to more than 30 countries.

Motorola Mobility hasn’t been served with a complaint and has no comment at this time, the Libertyville, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.

Motorola Mobility’s trademark application was rejected in December by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which said it was too similar to one owned by Zoom Telephonics Inc. in Boston, according to information on the office’s website.

On Feb. 10, Motorola Mobility told the trademark office that it and Zoom had agreed there wouldn’t be any confusion “because of the material differences in the goods and services which they each offer,” according to the trademark website. Zoom Telephonics makes modems and other communications products.

Public Application

Two days later, the agency agreed to make the application public to see if anyone else would oppose it, the website said.

Xoom Corp. filed additional applications Jan. 24 for use of the Xoom name for a website and software related to money transfers, according to the website.

Xoom Corp. also charged that Motorola Mobility purchased the Xoom keyword for online search engines. The first item that appears on the Google search page after typing in the keyword is The Motorola XOOM. Xoom.com is the second item.

Motorola Mobility rose 65 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $30.42 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 4.5 percent this year.

Xoom Corp. is backed by venture firms Sequoia Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Fidelity Ventures, according to its website.

The Xoom tablet sells for about $600 with a two-year Verizon contract and about $800 without one. It will compete with an iPad model priced at $729, as well as with less-expensive tablets from HTC Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.

The case is Xoom Corp. v. Motorola Trademark Holdings LLC, 11-0848, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporters on this story: Donald Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net; Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.

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