Apple says Norwegian political party's logo might be confused with its own, objects to tra...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 5
In a relatively rare action, Apple in February filed an official objection with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office opposing the registration of a trademark affiliated with that country's Progress Party, or Fremskrittspartiet, claiming the logo is too similar to its own well-known mark.


Fremskrittspartiet's trademark was registered in November.


Bryn Aarflot, a Norway-based patent and intellectual property prosecution firm representing Apple in the matter, formally objected to Fremskrittspartiet's trademark registration in a letter dated Feb. 26.

Apple claims the political party's mark could be confused with five of its own registered trademarks. Further, the logo resembles or incorporates elements of well-known, established branding and is thus in violation of Norway's Trade Marks Act.

Registered with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office last November, Fremskrittspartiet's trademark overlays stylized "FR" iconography on a large red apple, complete with black stem and green leaf. The design is reminiscent of Apple's trademark, a two-dimensional rendering of an archetypal apple silhouette.

The Fremskrittspartiet trademark, which is currently in limbo pending review of Apple's opposition, was registered for use on a range of products including digital media, printed materials, clothing, buttons, games, toys and even kitchen utensils. Indeed, the apple branding is already a prominent feature on the Fremskrittspartiet website.

Norway's patent and trademark bureau forwarded Apple's objection to Fremskrittspartiet, which has until March 28 to lodge a response.

MacRumors reported on Apple's Norway filing earlier on Tuesday.

Apple rarely takes action against potential trademark infringers, likely due to the fact that questionable branding is filtered out during the respective registration processes of independent international regulatory bodies.

There are exceptions, however. In 2017, Apple filed suit against watchmaker Swatch for applying the mark "Tick different" on certain products. Apple argued the phrase is a play on its 1990s "Think Different" ad campaign.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 978member
    Apple sues all still-life artists living and dead over use of this piece of fruit. 
  • Reply 2 of 36
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 420member
    What’s next? Objecting to apple farmers’ use of an apple in their logo?
    jbdragonbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 36
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 366member
    tokyojimu said:
    What’s next? Objecting to apple farmers’ use of an apple in their logo?
    "range of products including digital media"

    So…no!
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraSgt Storms(trooper)
  • Reply 4 of 36
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    spice-boy said:
    Apple sues all still-life artists living and dead over use of this piece of fruit. 
    From the article: "Apple rarely takes action against potential trademark infringers" Hmmm......
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,142member
    tokyojimu said:
    What’s next? Objecting to apple farmers’ use of an apple in their logo?
    As I understand it Trademark law requires defense or the owner has reduced protection.
    So Apple needs to make the claim even if the court is likely to defeat it to protect the scope of their trademark. 
    pacificfilmbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Lawyers...'have to protect the trademark!' -scumbags!
  • Reply 7 of 36
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    To be fair, this is an extremely shitty logo, so Apple might be doing them a favor. 
    robin huberrandominternetpersonchristopher126mwhitewlymTuuborStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 36
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,288member
    When you look at it closely, the silhouette and leaf position are pretty darn close. If you saw it in black & white there would be little difference besides a slight tilt. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 36
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    This is just dumb of Apple. It looks nothing like Apple's Logo!!! Apple leaf bit sticks up, not touching the Apple, and there's a bite on the right side of Apple's Logo. It's not even close. Apple is just dumb in this case. Go Google "Apple Logo".
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 36
    mattinoz said:
    tokyojimu said:
    What’s next? Objecting to apple farmers’ use of an apple in their logo?
    As I understand it Trademark law requires defense or the owner has reduced protection.
    So Apple needs to make the claim even if the court is likely to defeat it to protect the scope of their trademark. 
    I remember seeing other cases where a tm wasn't defended even though not an exact replication, and it weakened the position in later litigation. I say smart move, even though I doubt anyone would confuse the two at second glance, but then there are people who still
    confuse bits with bytes.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 36
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    When you look at it closely, the silhouette and leaf position are pretty darn close. If you saw it in black & white there would be little difference besides a slight tilt. 
    Have you ever actually seen the Apple logo? Seriously?

    - The leaf is overlapping the apple, Apple Inc's is on a  33º angle above the apple. It's also waves and bright green. 
    - They have a stem, Apple does not. 
    - Angle is different
    - The overall shape is different
    - The bite out of the apple is missing
    - Big massive 'F' in the middle of theirs

    Good grief man... if you think there would be little difference besides a slight tilt then you seriously need new glasses. 
    anantksundaramavon b7
  • Reply 12 of 36
    When you look at it closely, the silhouette and leaf position are pretty darn close. If you saw it in black & white there would be little difference besides a slight tilt. 
    You've got to be kidding right?  The silhouette and leaf position aren't even remotely close.
    Image result for apple logo vs Fremskrittspartiet logo

    dysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 36
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 730member
    So here are the 5 trademark registrations Apple cites. They all use the classic Apple logo, either in black or as an outline.

    https://search.patentstyret.no/Trademark/201313739/0868666?searchId=1383116&caseIndex=975
    https://search.patentstyret.no/Trademark/200804807/0957465?searchId=1383116&caseIndex=897
    https://search.patentstyret.no/Trademark/200814737/0982228?searchId=1383116&caseIndex=880
    https://search.patentstyret.no/Trademark/201803850/1394107?searchId=1383116&caseIndex=448
    https://search.patentstyret.no/Trademark/200202638/217659?searchId=1383116&caseIndex=314

    I don’t see where the objected-to mark (registration) is likely to be confused with them.

    I wonder if this is more about trying to prevent others from registering marks which might make it more difficult for Apple to use different marks in the future, rather than really being about the potential for confusion with the marks Apple already uses. Apple has hundreds of registered trademarks which cover, e.g., icons they use for apps and as graphical representations of device features.

    From Apple’s perspective it would be good to leave future design options (for, e.g., app icons) as open as possible. But it doesn’t - or shouldn’t - get to limit others that way. If someone else has a valid trademark they’re using, then they should get to register it (for what that’s worth). If it means that Apple can’t later use a design which it might have otherwise used (because Apple’s mark might be confused with an already-in-use mark), then that’s life.

    To be clear, Apple isn’t asserting its trademark rights against someone else’s use of a mark. It isn’t, e.g., suing them for trademark infringement. It’s trying to prevent them from having their own mark registered, i.e. it’s trying to get their recent registration revoked.
    edited March 5 randominternetpersonanantksundaramStrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 36
    As Apple (Computer) itself said in its lawsuit with Apple Corp. (the Beatles' record company), "even a moron in a hurry" could tell the difference between the marks.  It's ironic that after Apple (computer) won the lawsuit brought by Apple (records) it is resorting to the same sort of tactic that it defended itself against.
    baconstangcornchip
  • Reply 16 of 36
    When you look at it closely, the silhouette and leaf position are pretty darn close. If you saw it in black & white there would be little difference besides a slight tilt. 
    You've got to be kidding right?  The silhouette and leaf position aren't even remotely close.
    Image result for apple logo vs Fremskrittspartiet logo

    Which one is Apple Inc's?  
    anantksundaramelijahgSpamSandwich1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 17 of 36
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,387member
    Oh c’mon. This is just pitiful. Apple should not stoop this low. 

    I truly hope that this party gives the finger to Cook and Co. 
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 36
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,387member
    I am sure that they are waiting with bated breath to get political advice too, from you and Apple. 
    slurpy said:
    To be fair, this is an extremely shitty logo, so Apple might be doing them a favor. 

  • Reply 19 of 36
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    When you look at it closely, the silhouette and leaf position are pretty darn close. If you saw it in black & white there would be little difference besides a slight tilt. 
    There's a reason for that, both are modelled on an actual fruit. And the "bite"? And the gap between the leaf and the fruit? Nah.

    Oh I see others have beaten me to it. But point still stands.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    mattinoz said:
    tokyojimu said:
    What’s next? Objecting to apple farmers’ use of an apple in their logo?
    As I understand it Trademark law requires defense or the owner has reduced protection.
    So Apple needs to make the claim even if the court is likely to defeat it to protect the scope of their trademark. 
    In US trademark law yes, but I have strong doubts that you are fully versed on Norwegian patent law.
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