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.

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  • icon
    AdamBv1 (profile), 9 Sep 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?

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

  • identicon
    Zot-Sindi, 9 Sep 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

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

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 9 Sep 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?

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

  • identicon
    HothMonster, 9 Sep 2011 @ 12:58pm

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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 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 chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike42 (profile), 9 Sep 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...

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

  • icon
    tasmot (profile), 9 Sep 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?

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

    • identicon
      HothMonster, 9 Sep 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.

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

  • icon
    Nathan F (profile), 9 Sep 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..

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

  • icon
    Bas Grasmayer (profile), 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:23pm

    More infringement

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

    This apple is infringing.

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

  • identicon
    PRMan, 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:32pm

    And...

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

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

  • icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), 9 Sep 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.

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

  • icon
    DerekCurrie (profile), 9 Sep 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.

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:45pm

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

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

    • identicon
      albii, 11 Sep 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.

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

  • icon
    Jimr (profile), 9 Sep 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.

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

  • identicon
    DB, 9 Sep 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2011 @ 3:16pm

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

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

  • identicon
    Mee, 9 Sep 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Apple Inc Vs. Apple Corp

    Perhaps both of them should sue each other.

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

  • identicon
    Comfy, 9 Sep 2011 @ 3:52pm

    hmm

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

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

  • identicon
    Studio Bucuresti Vox, 9 Sep 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!

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 9 Sep 2011 @ 4:10pm

    Apple Are Liars

    I tried eating one of their products. It didn’t taste like an apple at all.

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

  • identicon
    trish, 9 Sep 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2011 @ 5:11pm

    I enjoy reading and laughing at bogus lawsuits.

    Thanks to Techdirt, Life's Good!!!

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

  • identicon
    Paul, 9 Sep 2011 @ 5:27pm

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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 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.

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

    • icon
      charliebrown (profile), 10 Sep 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.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 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.

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

  • icon
    charliebrown (profile), 10 Sep 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 – 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)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 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 :-)

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

  • identicon
    Studio Videochat, 21 Apr 2014 @ 7:05pm

    :))

    Apple always win. they will always do.

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


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