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Mobile giant Nokia threatens legal action against London startup Lowdownapp

Nokia is threatening legal action against a small studio in London after using the 'HERE' brand on a new personal assistant app, allowing users to tell friends when they have arrived at a pre-set location.

Lowdownapp's new service allows users to press the HERE button when they arrive, but Nokia claims the use of the word will confuse users, who may think it is a part of Nokia's mapping brand.

The Finnish firm claims it has already spent £8 million marketing the HERE brand to customers and has given the London studio until February 10th to rebrand their app.

Nokia claims to have registered trademarks for the HERE brand when related to computer software, applications and services. The specific capitalisation is also patented, meaning the studio will have to change the word.

"It's ludicrous - people say, 'I'm here,' to announce their arrival, which is why we have it as a service." said David Senior, chief executive of Lowdownapp. "As a small start-up trying to deliver value to users we don't think a multi-billion dollar company will be affected by this."

It is not the first time large companies have hunted down small app developers for using brand names, Apple regularly fights companies using the 'i' brand, claiming it will confuse customers and make them think it is an Apple product.

Lowdownapp might have troubles winning in the courtroom, considering the HERE app uses location services and can be quite clearly linked to Nokia's own mapping services.

The London studio will take down the application on iOS and edit the name, but Senior is looking into potential court cases.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.