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'Pull My Finger' subject of court fight

  • Story Highlights
  • Company files complaint over use of "pull my finger" for iPhone application
  • Maker of "Pull My Finger" wants company making "iFart" to stop using phrase
  • Company wants $50,000 to settle the dispute, may sue in federal court
  • Other company says phrase is common, cannot be trademarked
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- First came the iPhone. Then, there was the "iFart" flatulence noise download. Now, there's "Pull My Finger" -- and next could come the lawsuits.

A Florida-based company has accused a Colorado competitor in federal court of trademark infringement and unfair business practices over the phrase "Pull My Finger."

The dispute began after the makers of iFart began using phrase "pull my finger" in advertisements for their products.

Air-o-Matic, based in Jacksonville, Florida, and Colorado-based InfoMedia, Inc., both offer a range of competing software applications, or "apps," that subscribers can download into their multitasking cell phones. Users can make calls, listen to music, browse the Internet and play games on the devices.

Individual "apps" cost a dollar and up, and can be used to get directions, read restaurant reviews and make funny noises. Enter the flatulence sound app, which both companies offer to customers.

Air-o-Matic says its app, "Pull My Finger" has a unique brand identity that its competitor has infringed. It wants $50,000 from Infomedia to settle the dispute and may sue in federal court.

In a formal complaint filed in a Denver, Colorado, federal court, however, InfoMedia says the phrase is a common "descriptive" term used in its advertising and cannot be trademarked.

The company wants a judge to step in now, before any lawsuit is filed, and allow it to continue to use the phrase.

According to InfoMedia's legal filing, its iFart app "boasts a number of unique features including a built-in security system designed to aurally surprise and discourage iPhone theft. iFart also features a "Sneak Attack" function using a timer that emits the sound of flatulence when it goes off, the company says, and can also be used as a prank to an unsuspecting person.

Joel Conn, founder of Infomedia, said on his own blog that his app is a "cultural phenomenon."

The company claims there are about 75 different flatulence simulation software applications.

There was no word on when a judge might rule on the complaint.

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