Apple Continues To Insist Only It Can Use An Apple In A Logo; Threatens Small German Cafe

from the can-i-have-an-apple? dept

Not this again. We were just noting some recent attempts by Apple to pretend its trademark blocked anyone else from using an Apple in their own logo, no matter how obviously different and unrelated to the computer company. Take for example, these two disputes:

The latest, is that Apple has apparently sent a cease and desist to a small cafe in Germany, Apfelkind, whose logo looks absolutely nothing like Apple’s:
At this point, you kind of wonder if Apple has some trademark lawyers who have way way way too much free time on their hands.

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Companies: apfelkind, apple

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Comments on “Apple Continues To Insist Only It Can Use An Apple In A Logo; Threatens Small German Cafe”

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63 Comments
Jonalist (user link) says:

Re: apple juicer data spoiled

Wouldn’t it be just as good to use the above image as a doubled set with words below as a cafe logo since Apple uses only one apple on its logo and also if one placed behind the other this is entirely different than a single apple. Apple having made the claim before does not mean that Apple can continue to crush anyone into a juice and come out shiny apple like Apple.

Carlo Piana (profile) says:

Frivolous and disturbing

I believe there should be some sort of retribution against this sort of demands. They twist the law, abuse the difference in legal warfare that smaller entities have. The remedy should be a “frivolous claim remedy”, whereby anyone who claims clearly unfounded “rights” and disrupts legitimate business is forced to pay a multiple of the legal expenses faced by the attacked party, in retribution for the mayhem caused.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Frivolous and disturbing

That sounds OK for the company, though I would prefer seeing the CEO and Chairman doing some hard time. But what about they lawyers? Maybe we should remove them from the bar of law and send them to a sand bar at low tide, spreadeagled to a very heavy anchor. Then bait the area with crabs.

Major says:

Re: Re:

Exerpt from my personal dictionnary :
Trademark Lawsuit ˈ/treɪdmɑːk lɔːsuːt/
▶noun
“a claim or dispute due to lawyers paids well over a grand an hour who have way too much free time on their hands.”

i think both of you are right or my dictionnary is wrong, but if it is wrong i’am gonna hit your head with it ’till im right !

P3T3R5ON (profile) says:

Is there an App for that?

Is there an App for that?

Cease and Desist only .99$
It comes in a light version too!
iOS 5.0 Compatable!
Find us in the GameCenter!!!

Now you too can tell people to stop doing things, making things, using things that you don’t think they should be able to do because it looks like, tastes like, smells like or feels like something you have already created, tasted or smelled!

*CNET Review – By Joe Blow*
This is a great app, I love sending out Cease and Desist letters from my phone. I see my son Jonny not doing his homework, zing… Ceast and Desist order on all non homework related activites.

(Not an actual app…. yet)

DogBreath says:

Re: Letter to Apple Farmers

Based on that same kind of trademark stupidity, anyone can see these guys are really in trouble:

MonsterApples

I mean how dare they use a 3 dimensional organic object of nature, in a 2 dimensional image on a webpage to represent what they are selling?

Moron(in a hurry): “I’m confused… are Apple and Monster Cable now selling candied apples?”

Lawyer(in a hurry to bill somebody, anybody, for billable hours): “I’ll take the case!”

Overcast (profile) says:

Even though I have been a Mac user since 1986, Apple’s recent policies are terrible. I’d advise them to obey the biblical command to “go forth and multiply thyself.”

But that’s hard when the obviously posture of the company is to: litigate, control, and restrict users.

People don’t want all of that, and it’s why I just outright skip over ‘apple’ products.

Austin (profile) says:

There's actually a fair claim here

But not by Apple. Take the second logo, remove the stem, and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise. Looks practically identical to the LG logo. I’m not saying that anyone could get a latte confused with a smartphone, mind you, but if the cafe has in-house computers with stickers on them, I could see a potential claim there. Far reaching and somewhat bogus, but at least it’d have SOME legal merit to a point. As for Apple having an anywhere-near-valid claim on ANY of this, obviously not.

I do find this funny though. I saw a few specials over the weekend on the late Mr. Jobs. I noticed that several – at least 4 or 5 different people – said he had more or less total reverence for the Beatles. For a Beatles fan, he had one hell of a lawsuit going against Apple Records for several years. Doesn’t sound like what a fan would do to me. Maybe an artist or a studio, but not a fan. Of course, the truth is Steve wasn’t an “innovator” as everyone in the popular media is saying now. Steve Jobs was a master iterator. He couldn’t invent an original concept if his life depended on it, but when it came to taking the work of others and improving upon it, nobody did better. Well, that and marketing. I swear to god I spent the last 10 years just waiting on the day when Steve would stand up and introduce iShit, a turd that was painted white and doesn’t smell. The sad thing is, he could’ve totally pulled it off – and sold millions of handfuls of shit. Literally. Don’t get me wrong, I respect him for that.

But still. For someone who talked about innovation, his actual genius was iteration. For someone who loved the Beatles, he sure seemed to hate them in a courtroom. For someone who kept hocking a bunch of “fastest” computers, he never did actually release a single system that was top of the line. Ever. But eh, it was white and metal and “cool” so who cares about actual performance, right?

Anyhow…as to the topic at hand, no surprise here Mike. Anyone willing to sue their favorite band in the whole wide world clearly has no limits on who they’ll sue, or for what.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: There's actually a fair claim here

“Anyone willing to sue their favorite band in the whole wide world”

Of course, you’d have a point. Except for the fact that it was Apple Corps (the Beatles’ record company) who did the suing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

The rest of your post appears to be just as factual and witty, so I’ll leave it there.

gmarcotte (profile) says:

Don't hate the player....

I’m no lawyer, but from what I’ve read about trademark law the important thing in cases like these is not to actually win the case or get the other guys to change their name/logo, but simply to have your objection on the record. If you don’t do that, then when someone comes along who actually is infringing your trademark they’ll point to the Woolworths and Apfelkinds and say “Look, those companies were also infringing and Apple had no problem with them, why should they have a problem with us?” And the real problem is that there is precedent for that argument to win the day in court.

So are these claims absurd? Of course.
Are Apple’s lawyers being overly cautious in defending their trademark? Maybe.
But this (and similar ridiculous claims) is more likely the result of deeply flawed trademark case law, rather than anything unique to Apple.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Apples lawyers have a lot more than free time on their hands

They also have the shredded remnants of what used to be their foreskins on them, and having made themselves so sore, decided that they would now have to do the next best thing, which is engaging in pointless litigation, which for some reason, almost rhymes with masturbation. Coincidence? I think not! Ask them. I’m sure they will deny everything plausibly.

Don says:

Only Apple can use an apple logo?

That’s very interesting to me. If that is the case should Apple not be required to contact the remaining members or estate of the Beatles to use an apple in their logo. Cause, correct me if I am mistaken, Apple records was actually using an apple very similar to the one used by Apple (the computer company) long before the computer company was created. For that matter, are produce companies who produce apples not supposed to use an apple for a logo? But then, a logo would not be the first thing that Apple stole from someone else, then fought tooth and nail to keep to themselves.

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