CafeX slaps Amazon Web Services with lawsuit over naming of its Chime product


Workplace collaboration vendor CafeX Communications Inc. has slapped Amazon Web Services with a lawsuit over the name of AWS’s recently announced Amazon Chime videoconferencing product.

CafeX has offered its own video collaboration product, also called “Chime,” since last year, and claims that AWS has illegally copied its name. In its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, CafeX accuses Inc. of trademark infringement, deceptive acts and practices and various other offenses. The startup wants an injunction to prevent Amazon from using the name “Chime” for its own product, as well as awards of profits, damages and related relief.

CafeX launched its version of Chime a year ago, marketing the product as a simple solution for video conferencing, web chats and document sharing. The company showed off Chime at the Enterprise Connect 2016 business communications conference in May, where SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile video studio theCUBE spoke with CafeX’s Chief Marketing Officer Sajeel Hussain about the new product. Chime was later presented as the best of the show award.

Intriguingly, CafeX says in its lawsuit that an unnamed Amazon product manager also attended Enterprise Connect and even visited the company’s booth. “It is essentially impossible for AWS to have been ignorant of CafeX’s CHIME product and service before launching its competing product and service in light of industry acclaim received by CafeX for its CHIME product and service over the past year,” the company said in its lawsuit.

Amazon Web Services’ own take on Chime was released earlier this month, almost a year to the day after CafeX’s product release. Besides sharing the same name, Amazon’s Chime offers similar features to CafeX’s product, as well as web-based collaboration and interactive meetings for businesses. CafeX alleges that Amazon even copied its marketing language for Chime as well.

CafeX says it has already heard from several customers who have been confused by the two similar products, including two partners it claims ditched its own product in favor of Amazon’s.

Somewhat awkwardly for the companies, both plan to be present at this year’s Enterprise Connect conference at Gaylord Palms, Orlando March 27-30. AWS will be located just two booths away from CafeX, and is scheduled to deliver a keynote, where it’s likely to promote its own Chime product. CafeX asks in its lawsuit for Amazon Web Services to be prevented from appearing at the show.

SiliconANGLE has reached out to Amazon Web Services for comment and will update this story if the company responds.

For more background about CafeX’s Chime, check out Hussain’s full interview on theCUBE at Enterprise Connect:

Image: CafeX