MiFi Oops?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 15-Dec-2009 10:37

Vodafone today released their portable 3G WiFi router in New Zealand.

Media Release
14 December 2009

Vodafone launches wi-fi hotspot in your hand

Vodafone takes mobile broadband to the next level with the launch of its MiFi mobile broadband hotspot.

The MiFi allows up to five wi-fi users to connect simultaneously to the internet using Vodafone's world class 3G broadband service.

Customers will be able to take that brainstorming meeting to the caf? and share one connection on multiple laptops. Mobile gamers will be able to set up a LAN and play wirelessly. The MiFi even allows you to share documents stored on its MicroSD card (up to 16GB) and set access levels as you see fit.

Weighing in at only 100g it's smaller than most cellphones and not much larger than a credit card. Battery powered, the MiFi will last up to four hours of continuous use before needing to be recharged making it a truly portable solution.

Vodafone's GM of Products Pricing and Internet Kursten Shalfoon says Vodafone's MiFi opens up the floodgates to a new world of mobility.

"Whether you want to work collaboratively on a project or just need to have multiple devices connecting together while you're out and about, the MiFi gives you the best of Vodafone's 3G broadband connection and combines it with all the benefits of wi-fi to deliver a great product."

The MiFi is on sale from today through the Vodafone online store at an RRP of $499. Customers who buy the MiFi with a 1GB data plan get it at the discounted rate of $299.

- ends -

These devices are fantastic. I know several people who have already played with these units and have great things to say about them.

And now for the "oops" moment. Vodafone don't appear to own the MiFi trademark in New Zealand

Trade Mark Details

Trade Mark Number (210)
719848 Current Status Registered

TM Search Text

Trade Mark Type
Trade Mark Non-Convention, WORD

Trade Mark Nature

Use Statement
(ii) proposed to be used by the proprietor(s), (being the applicant)

Filed (220)

Renewed Until

Marks , Device and Device Descriptors (532)


Classification System | Class (511)
Specification of Goods and Services

telecommunications services; radio telecommunication, satellite telecommunication, mobile, portable and fixed telecommunication and telephone; broadcasting services and provision of telecommunications networks including broadcasting networks, and including internet service provider services including internet access services, and including access to fixed line, portable and mobile communications networks, telephone, facsimile, telex, data transfer, message collection and transmission, message sending, receiving and forwarding, electronic mail services, electronic transmission of data, text, images, sounds and/or video, provision of digital content by telecommunications; voice over IP (Internet Protocol) services, and broadband internet services; transmission and receiving by radio; communication of data by radio, telecommunications and by satellite; automatic telephone answering services; personal numbering services; provision of telephone and other telecommunications directory services, video conferencing services, video telephone services, value added network services, and communication by computer terminals; provision of access to computer systems and networks including the Internet or other electronic networks; provision of remote access to a central archive of data, information and software applications, including the warehousing of data, information and software applications and real time downloads of data, information and software applications; rental and leasing of telecommunications apparatus and equipment including parts and fittings for the same


Pseudo Mark
Mi Fi

Proprietor: (730)
National Communications Corporation Limited . C/-Bowden Williams & Associates, Level 2, 3 Margot Street, Newmarket, AUCKLAND, New Zealand

Contact : (740)
National Communications Corporation Limited . C/-Bowden Williams & Associates, Level 2, 3 Margot Street, Newmarket, AUCKLAND, New Zealand

Service Address:
PO Box 25-1050, Pakuranga, AUCKLAND, New Zealand



Published Date

Application Accepted


Related Trade Marks

No Related Trade Marks found

Objections / Hearings

There are no current objections or hearings present

Last Renewed By

No renewal interest on record or public access is restricted

Proprietor & Licensee History

No proprietors nor licensees on record or public access is restricted



Vodafone have either done a deal to use the word MiFi in New Zealand or somebody has committed a rather big "oops" moment and launched a product into the marketplace without actually checking if the product name was either in use or already trademarked!

I guess we'll have to wait and see if anything becomes of this!

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CCTV exposed. Why understanding network security is so important.
Anker make some of the best USB chargers and powerbanks available. Now you can get their products shipped directly to New Zealand
United Airlines pulls out of New Zealand for Southern Hemisphere Winter – AKL/SFO becomes seasonal.

Permalink to MiFi Oops? | Main Index

Comment by Tyler Rosolowski, on 15-Dec-2009 12:47

"Mobile gamers will be able to set up a LAN and play wirelessly" Someone in Vodafone marketing went a bit crazy, I don't see gamers gathering around one of these boxes with the latency you get on mobile broadband and playing games on them.

Comment by psycik, on 15-Dec-2009 13:04

Isn't the trademark thing on the "too bad" list and not a problem for Vodafone?  I thought the MiFi was an internationally sold device, so technically the trademark owner should have gone after the manufacturers when they started making/selling the device.  I fail to see how it's a VF problem.

Comment by johnr, on 15-Dec-2009 13:10

@Tyler Rosolowski I suggest you read it again it advises over the LAN not over 3G Broadband

Comment by exportgoldman, on 15-Dec-2009 13:16

John your right I cannot read, these devices look really cool I saw another review of them six months ago and 3 people shared a wifi in Starbucks and the thing was a little bigger than a credit card (but thicker.)

It got quite warm.

I was actually thinking after posting that, that the latency of mobile networks seems a lot better than even a year ago, I remember people posting speedtest with 150ms ping times. Not great for gaming but usable for role playing games. :)

Vodafone's geting it's geek on.

Comment by johnr, on 15-Dec-2009 13:21

@Tyler Rosolowski I suggest you read it again it advises over the LAN not over 3G Broadband

Comment by johnr, on 15-Dec-2009 13:23

oppppps sorry double post

Comment by Paul Brislen, on 15-Dec-2009 16:24

No oops... we checked with Novatel which owns the MiFi name in relation to devices like this and they're happy for us to call this device the Vodafone Mifi. And so we are. Cheers Paul

Comment by nitrotech, on 15-Dec-2009 20:46

I have the Huawei version of this device and have been using it on vodafone over the past few months and on virgin mobile in OZ.

I've got to say they are a fantastic little device.

I hope to see these overtake USB modems over the next couple of years, just the fact of never having to worry about drivers ever again for mobile bb is a real plus.

Well done vodafone, I encourage everyone to get out and grab one.

PS. on the oops, 3 mobile in the UK have licenced MiFi for the Huawei device and the novatel device cannot be referred to as MiFi in the UK so there is no worldwide patent for novatel.

Comment by bg, on 16-Dec-2009 08:54

Seems a little arrogant of Vodafone to not "check" with the NZ owner of the trademark.

sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com