Apple Still Seems To Think That Only It Could Possibly Have An Apple Shaped Logo

from the uh,-that's-not-how-trademark-law-works... dept

A few years ago, we noted that Apple was threatening the New Zealand supermarket chain Woolworths (not connected to the now defunct US retailer of the same name) for daring to have an apple-shaped W as its logo:
It's hard to see anyone being even remotely confused. But it's not stopping Apple lawyers. Vic alerts us to the news that Apple is threatening Sichuan Fangguo Food Co., Ltd. in China for its logo:
Once again, I'm at a loss as to how anyone, a moron in a hurry or not, would be confused about these two logos. And, I bring up the moron in a hurry standard purposely here, as it was Apple's own lawyers who repopularized the "moron in a hurry" standard for use in trademark law in its own trademark fight with The Beatles' Apple Corp.

And, honestly, as almost everyone notes on seeing the Sichuan Fangguo Food Co. logo, if anyone should be upset, it should be LG, whose logo looks a lot closer:
Or, you know, we can just admit that absolutely no one is confused about any of these... and move on with our lives.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    AdamBv1 (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    You have to think of the lawyers Mike, if we don't keep them employed with by filing useless lawsuits how will they ever feed their spawn?

     

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  2.  
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    Zot-Sindi, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    if anything apple is the confusing one here, i used to think they where for selling food products when i was little

     

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  3.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Your next granny smith. Then mother nature for these fruit she makes that look like apples logo, the fucking bitch

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    S t

    I like apple juice better than actual apples, but i do miss the roughage as it helps me prepare things similar to what these lawyers have for brains.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    These companies should have thought up their own logos, instead of stealing Apple's! It took Apple Computers years of hard work to rip off Apple Records and win in court! Apple is just sharing the love...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Will Apple now sure Kelloggs for stealing their idea

    I mean Apple the computer people not the Beatles people seem to think they own the entire apple shaped universe (the actual fruit produced by mother nature, not the fruits pursuing these inane lawsuits). Since Kellogg is now trying to claim domain over the entire Mayan cultural imagery, isn't that innovation a step beyond just claiming domain over all somewhat "apple-y" shaped marks? How dare they try to steal Apple's idea of broadly claiming any near shaped trademark? How soon do you think it will hit the courts? Which sparks me to ask, patent cases get filed in East Texas (even if you have to buy a bull), where to trademark cases get filed? Is there a special court that favors existing trademark owners over the new upstarts?

     

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  7.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Will Apple now sure Kelloggs for stealing their idea

    "Is there a special court that favors existing trademark owners over the new upstarts?"

    U.S.A.

     

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  8.  
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    Nathan F (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    So.. is the Apple logo Green.. Red.. or Silver or that really horrid multicolored banding from ancient times? They seem to like to change its color an awful lot. Also does that Chinese food company logo really have a quarter chunk taken out of it or is that a picture error? I really don't see how, if the quarter chunk that is missing is intentional, Apple can say the logos are similar as to be mistaken..

     

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  9.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    More infringement

    http://i.imgur.com/bgmOp.jpg

    This apple is infringing.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Re: More infringement

    That looks like so many pipes I have made over the years ; )

     

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  11.  
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    PRMan, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    And...

    And people ask me why I don't buy Apple products.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Soooo

    Where's the Techdirt troll who will come and insist that Apple absolutely must send out the lawyers over this or risk losing their trademark forever?

    He really should have been here by now.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Soooo

    "Is it true if you don't use it you lose it?"

    One of my favorite quotes from the 40-Year Old Virgin

     

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  14.  
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    DerekCurrie (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    This time it's BLATANT plagiarism

    Seriously TechDirt. Choose your rants more carefully. Anyone with a quantum of intelligence notices this particular logo is a blatant ripoff of BOTH LG AND Apple. It has a BITE OUT OF IT for Tesla's sake! Hello? Apple will win this lawsuit.

    As for the Woolworth's logo: There I can agree with you. Highly silly of Apple.

     

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  15.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Next: Apple sues farmers and grocery stores because their apples are apple-shaped.

     

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  16.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    ^This. My first exposure to Apple was my school getting free computers by bringing in grocery store receipts. How can I not associate them with food?

     

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  17.  
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    Jimr (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    How about: Apple sues Kellogg over the 'apple' taste in the fruit loops. And Kellogg can counter sue apple for the apple looking like the toucan sam - yep I think they are close enough.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    fruit loops? Hell, someone makes APPLEJACKS! Apple Lawyers to the rescue!

     

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  19.  
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    DB, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Change the leaf

    Change the direction the leaf is pointing and you should be within the bounds of keeping those lowyers at bay.

     

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  20.  
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    American A-hole, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Re: S t

    The Roughage Anti-Defamation League is on line three for you.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    One more reason for not to buy/use Apple products.

     

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  22.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re:

    "A for Apple, J for Jacks; cinnamon, toasty Apple Jacks®!"

    Kellogg's® makes Apple Jacks® too.

    (P.S. I know I'm being a pedant again but for the record it's Froot Loops. Also ® of course.)

     

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  23.  
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    Mee, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Apple Inc Vs. Apple Corp

    Perhaps both of them should sue each other.

     

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  24.  
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    Comfy, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    hmm

    I always like the apple. Though no one else uses an apple. they can use pears or cherries. :)

     

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  25.  
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    Studio Bucuresti Vox, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    I am actually eating a green apple right now. Started to laugh when i seen this post. If they sew eachother, im sure apple will win!

     

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  26.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:10pm

    Apple Are Liars

    I tried eating one of their products. It didnít taste like an apple at all.

     

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  27.  
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    trish, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    trademark

    you know in the intro to iron chef america, the chairman takes a BITE out of an APPLE. Clearly Food Network is ripping off Apple here.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Apple should sue over that. I ruined my iPod by inserting one of those in the connector.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    I enjoy reading and laughing at bogus lawsuits.

    Thanks to Techdirt, Life's Good!!!

     

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  30.  
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    Paul, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    I'm confused, am I still legally entitled to eat the fruit known as an apple?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    Re:

    Well ... look what happened when Adam and Eve ate an apple.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re:

    (now we have lawyers)

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    Not New Zealand

    The Woolworths that have that logo and were threatened by Apple are an Australian company - they're not connected with the New Zealand Woolworths.

     

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  34.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: Not New Zealand

    The NZ Woolworths also has that logo. I stumbled upon it when I visited the MasterChef New Zealand website last week!

    I used to think it looked stupid when they (Woolworths of Australia) brought it in, it's a deformed W that's green. Then I went "Oh, it's meant to be an apple to represent how fresh they are". I'm not a moron but I was in a hurry that day.

     

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  35.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Wikipedia to the rescue!

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_%28supermarket%29

    "On 22 August 2008, Woolworths announced it was launching a new identity for all its supermarkets.....The logo, which had been in use for 21 years, was replaced with a new brand image, designed by Hans Hulsbosch with a new green tinted icon representing the 'W' in Woolworths with the addition of a stylised leaf to suggest fresh produce. It is also reminiscent of a 1970s Woolworths logo.....In September 2009, this rebranding scheme was extended to New Zealand stores where the new Woolworths symbol is to be used alongside the Countdown brand."

    I like this part: "In October 2009, it was reported that Apple Inc. had lodged an objection to Woolworths' trademark application with the Australian Government's intellectual property agency IP Australia, claiming that the logo resembles its own. The reports said that Apple was concerned that Woolworths had applied for a blanket trademark for the design, so it could be placed on any product Ė even on electrical goods like computers and music players. Woolworths was not selling its own brand electrical goods then, but a spokeswoman for the company said that, 'While we can't rule anything out, we haven't got any plans at the moment'."

    That's true: Woolworths sells hardly anything electrical (a couple of kitchen appliences and the occasional TV and DVD player), all of which are branded by someone else. They are usually cheap pieces of crap that we (the Australian public) buy because their cheap and a good temp-job if we need it in a hurry. I don't know anyone here who would willingly buy a Home Brand TV. (Home Brand = Woolworths' Generic "In-Store" brand)

     

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  36.  
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    DinDaddy (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re: S t

    Buy unfiltered apple juice. Treetop and several other brands sell it, and it has some of the fiber at least of eating a real apple.

     

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  37.  
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    DinDaddy (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    Oh come on. Apple didn't get the idea from Apple Corp. It's not like Steve J is a big Beatles fan or anything . . .

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Woolies is a New Zealand company? That might be a surprise to most Aussies, ASIC, ATO and the board of Woolies itself :-)

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2011 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: Not New Zealand

    The Woolworths NZ logo can be seen at http://www.woolworths.co.nz/ . Not the same logo. Woolworths Ltd don't own Woolworths in NZ - they own the Countdown supermarkets. Countdown supermarkets were formally called Woolworths and shared the Woolies Aussie logo (before it was changed here). The Woolworths stores still in NZ are not associated with Woolies.

    Same as K-Mart in Australia used to be owned by K-Mart in the US before the change in ownership, and same with Target.

     

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  40.  
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    albii, Sep 11th, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    Shhhh... don't give them any ideas, the way things are going with the patent system and the copyright laws worldwide, that just might happen in the near future.

     

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  41.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 11th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    According to the lawyers, that makes perfect legal sense.

     

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  42.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 11th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    Re: This time it's BLATANT plagiarism

    Lost your quantum, did you?

     

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  43.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 11th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Regardless, it has about as much nutritional value as styrofoam and sugar. Eating cat poop is probably more beneficial.

     

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  44.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 11th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Regardless, it has about as much nutritional value as styrofoam and sugar. Eating cat poop is probably more beneficial.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Studio Videochat, Apr 21st, 2014 @ 7:05pm

    :))

    Apple always win. they will always do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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