Apple is a vociferous defender of its trademarks and intellectual properties. This is understandable, given the importance of design and branding to Apple’s business, but occasionally it has led the company into undignified positions.
Apple has opposed countless applications for trademarks for logos involving a certain pomaceous fruit – including an Australian embodiment of the much-missed Woolworths brand,
back in 2009 – even though
Peggy Watt and others have pointed out that the fruit was used as a logo at least as early as the 1930s.
This site lists some of the trademark applications that Apple has resisted.
But Apple looks particularly silly when pursuing this vendetta against companies that sell fruit – companies, in other words, that couldn’t possibly be mistaken for the world’s most beloved maker of electronic goods, and which have far more justification to be using a fruit as their logo. In 2012 Apple
filed a complaint with the Polish patent office against an online grocer named A.pl, calling foul on its name and a logo with an apple in it that A.pl’s parent company, fresh24, planned to use.
Given that A.pl actually sells apples, unlike its more famous Cupertino-based near-namesake (as well as other food, cleaning products and so on – but not laptops and video-editing software, you’ll note), this seemed like a reach. A.pl called the accusation “ludicrous” and many commentators agreed.
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