Apple appears to dispute the rights to public use of the Apple logo in Switzerland. The legal battle involves the Tim Cook-led giant against an active 111-year-old fruit store, Fruit Union Suisse. Information from the UK Wired website.
The logo of the fruit shop in question is a red apple with a white cross on one side – very different from Apple’s signature apple.
“We’re having a hard time understanding this because it’s not like they’re trying to protect the apple that’s been bitten,” said Fruit Union Suisse director Jimmy Mariéthoz. “Their goal here is to own the rights to a really real apple, which is almost universal to us… It should be freely available to everyone.”
The lack of clarity scares the owner of the fruit shop
For Marethoz, the dispute over the Fruit Union logo is worrisome, because it’s not clear what uses Apple is claiming. Also, the company tends to be ruthless when it comes to copyright infringement.
“We’re concerned that any visual representation of an Apple — or anything audiovisual or related to new technologies or media — could be affected. That would be a very, very big limitation for us,” said the director. “Theoretically, we could get into slippery territory every time we advertise with an apple,” he added.
So far, Apple has not publicly commented on this matter.
Apple has fought over apples before
This wasn’t the first time Apple had disputed the rights to Apple’s illustrations in logos: In the report, Wired states that a similar case occurred in 2017, also in Switzerland, regarding rights to reproduce a green apple in a variety of possible scenarios, mostly Includes digital media or technology products.
In this case, the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) granted Apple the right to reproduce in some, but not all, contexts. Apple has appealed the decision and the process is still ongoing.
The iPhone maker has also opposed logos that used other fruits: in 2020, it filed an opposition law in the US against the Prepear app, which used pears as a visual identity.
A similar battle is taking place in Brazil
Litigation disputes over Apple’s trademarks also happen in Brazil and the best example is the fight between Tim Cook and Gradiente over the name “iphone” here.
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