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.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: apple, sichuan fangguo food co, walgreens

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Comments on “Apple Still Seems To Think That Only It Could Possibly Have An Apple Shaped Logo”

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TasMot (profile) says:

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?

Nathan F (profile) says:

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..

DerekCurrie (profile) says:

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.

charliebrown (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not New Zealand

The Woolworths NZ logo can be seen at . 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.

charliebrown (profile) says:

Wikipedia to the rescue!


“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 ? 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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