Apple takes Prepear logo trademark fight to Canada

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is continuing its efforts to force meal planner app Prepear to change its logo by expanding the fight beyond the United States, with the iPhone maker now going after the company's trademark filing in Canada.




In early August, Prepear became the subject of ire for Apple's legal team, with the iPhone maker objecting to a trademark application for a fruit-based logo, one of a pear that it considered was too close to Apple's own. In an update over the logo threat, Prepear revealed Apple wasn't just going after the trademark application in the United States, but was going to do the same thing in a second country.

According to Prepear, iPhone in Canada reports, the app's attorneys told the company "not only would Apple be continuing their opposition to our logo" but that it had also "taken additional steps in preventing our logo from being registered as a trademark by filing an additional opposition against our trademark in Canada."

Prepear insists "this will increase the cost of the defense of our logo, and is a clear sign that Apple is doubling down on their fight against all fruit." Company founders also attempted to contact Apple's PR team about the "bullying behavior," but received no response.

"This is not just Apple's lawyers being lawyers, it appears that the organization at Apple stands behind its lawyers," a blog post from the company reads. "As is the case in all bullying, silence about the behavior of the bully is the same thing as support."

The small five-person Prepear team has already had to deal with "many thousands of dollars" in costs, which forced the layoff of one employee from its roster.

Shortly after the initial story was reported, a petition demanding Apple drops the lawsuit quickly gained over 9.000 supporters. Two weeks later, the same petition has swelled to approximately 220,000 signatories.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,966member
    Has anyone at Apple PR heard about negative publicity?
    JWSClkruppcommand_fmuthuk_vanalingamlibertyandfreerepressthisdarkvaderOferviclauyychumanaftera11
  • Reply 2 of 26
    elijahg said:
    Has anyone at Apple PR heard about negative publicity?
    I agree. Normally I side with Apple, but this is ridiculous. Prepear's logo looks more like an avocado with a leaf than a pear. 
    tnet-primarycommand_fmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisagilealtitudeelijahgOferhumanaftera11macseekerktappe
  • Reply 3 of 26
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,665member
    Mmm. 

    I was going to write that one is the outline of a pear, the other’s a filled-in Apple. Not a chance, Cupertino. 

    But looking at them side by side … I can see what the fuss is about. Most odd. 

    Still, I don’t think anyone is going to mistake one for the other. 

    edited August 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 26
    I must be missing something:
    One is an apple, one is a pear
    One has a stalk, one doesn't,
    One has a bite out of it, the other doesn't
    One has a leaf above it, the other has a leaf beside it

    We have a saying in the UK that you can't compare apples and pears (or indeed oranges)...

    edited August 2020 darkvaderelijahgbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 26
    XedXed Posts: 748member
    elijahg said:
    Has anyone at Apple PR heard about negative publicity?
    Maybe Apple is actively being a dick, but from what I gather with trademark law is that you need to both use it and defend it. It doesn't mean you need to win a lawsuit and you can settle out of court on the issue, but if they didn't defend it, then another entity down that is blatantly infringing could use this logo against Apple. Maybe none of that is correct, but that's what I've gathered from the various Apple trademark issues over the decades.
    edited August 2020 foregoneconclusionDogpersonbageljoeybaconstangneutrino23beowulfschmidtjony0
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Xed said: Make Apple is actively being a dick, but from what I gather with trademark law is that you need to both use it and defend it. It doesn't mean you need to win a lawsuit and you can settle out of court on the issue, but if they didn't defend it, then another entity down that is blatantly infringing could use this logo against Apple. Maybe none of that is correct, but that's what I've gathered from the various Apple trademark issues over the decades.
    That appears to be the general rule regarding trademarks. You need to actively defend them. The Forbes article linked below also mentions that companies with very valuable trademarks often hire a professional service to watch for potential infringement. It's not unlikely that Apple has an arrangement like that. 

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverherzfeld/2013/02/28/failure-to-enforce-trademarks-if-you-snooze-do-you-lose/#1d06de5d6c22
    Dogperson
  • Reply 7 of 26
    As someone who often comes to Apple's defense, particularly in cases of frivolous lawsuits, this is a new low for Apple. What are they thinking?! Or in this case, NOT thinking!
    darkvaderviclauyycmuthuk_vanalingamcommand_f
  • Reply 8 of 26
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,441member
    The logo is a different form, is hollow, is a different colour, and the leaf is going down not up. 
    The company is not in competition with Apple at all. Their markets don't overlap in any way.
    I don't see Apple winning this one.
    I DO however see PrePrear being driven out of business trying to defend itself. Seriously Apple, even if you need to defend your trademark, there has got to be a better way than this. This case will be an exhibit when Congress starts discussing Big Tech abusive behaviour. 
    No reason to give them ammunition.
    elijahgbaconstanggatorguyktappechemengin1muthuk_vanalingamcommand_f
  • Reply 9 of 26
    This is almost as bad as the Apple versus Woolworths of Australia.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/apple-bites-over-woolworths-logo-20091005-ghzr.html
    JWSC
  • Reply 10 of 26
    As someone who often comes to Apple's defense, particularly in cases of frivolous lawsuits, this is a new low for Apple. What are they thinking?! Or in this case, NOT thinking!
    If ever Tim would have been in Paradise, he would have sued Adam before him even thinking about handing out Eve the Forrbidden Fruit.
    Then, our World would have been without Sin.

    Now to overcome his historical late appearance, Tim will sue everything around that bears the faintest resemblance with fruit
    edited August 2020 ctt_zhhodar
  • Reply 11 of 26
    I’m on Prepear’s side on this one, but it does remind me of McDowell’s ;)

    https://youtu.be/djI_ret3S9g
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 12 of 26
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,966member
    Xed said:
    elijahg said:
    Has anyone at Apple PR heard about negative publicity?
    Maybe Apple is actively being a dick, but from what I gather with trademark law is that you need to both use it and defend it. It doesn't mean you need to win a lawsuit and you can settle out of court on the issue, but if they didn't defend it, then another entity down that is blatantly infringing could use this logo against Apple. Maybe none of that is correct, but that's what I've gathered from the various Apple trademark issues over the decades.
    That is the case, but there has to be some similarity. Apple doesn’t have exclusivity over all logos with fruit in. Just ones that are likely to be confused with Apple’s own, which this isn’t. Even then, the companies have to be in similar industries, which Prepear isn't. MAC is a trademark of MAC Cosmetics, using Apple's logic they could sue Apple for using Mac, MAC was a trademark before Mac.
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 13 of 26
    There's not even a passing resemblance.

    It's nothing like the time a company blatantly ripped off Apple's name and logo.


    (The Apple in question was a record company, and the computer company was Apple Computer Inc.  So they should know something about ripping off trademarks...)
    JWSCelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 26
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,441member
    Anyone else reminded of MikeRoweSoft? The case from a while back
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._MikeRoweSoft
    Microsoft got reamed for their heavy handed tactics. In the end they bought the domain for an xBox and "other compensation".
    Apple likely could have approached the company and bought their logo. Heck a bit of cash and let the Apple design department make them a new one. Likely it would have cost far less than the legal department will spend on going to court. Plus Apple would not look like another Big Tech Bully.
    elijahgbaconstang
  • Reply 15 of 26
    bsnjonbsnjon Posts: 32member
    Trademark law has never made much sense, and internationally, things can get very sticky. Netflix is being sued by the US government over the name “Space Force.”

    Some big companies have lost their trademarks due to what may have seemed silly things, especially in Europe. I’m sure Apple’s lawyers told them, to be safe, the company should take all available action.  
    Dogpersonneutrino23
  • Reply 16 of 26
    XedXed Posts: 748member
    bsnjon said:
    Trademark law has never made much sense, and internationally, things can get very sticky. Netflix is being sued by the US government over the name “Space Force.”

    Some big companies have lost their trademarks due to what may have seemed silly things, especially in Europe. I’m sure Apple’s lawyers told them, to be safe, the company should take all available action.  
    Parody is protected, huh if some reason they loss they can easily name it Space Farce, which would do nothing but bring more attention to the Netflix series and make the US’s Space Force even more comical.
    baconstang
  • Reply 17 of 26
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,579member
    Xed said: Make Apple is actively being a dick, but from what I gather with trademark law is that you need to both use it and defend it. It doesn't mean you need to win a lawsuit and you can settle out of court on the issue, but if they didn't defend it, then another entity down that is blatantly infringing could use this logo against Apple. Maybe none of that is correct, but that's what I've gathered from the various Apple trademark issues over the decades.
    That appears to be the general rule regarding trademarks. You need to actively defend them. The Forbes article linked below also mentions that companies with very valuable trademarks often hire a professional service to watch for potential infringement. It's not unlikely that Apple has an arrangement like that. 

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverherzfeld/2013/02/28/failure-to-enforce-trademarks-if-you-snooze-do-you-lose/#1d06de5d6c22
    You need to defend against actual infringement.   This is not infringement and if this gets to court, I believe Apple will lose.   It isn't like this other company is a computer or phone manufacturer.   Apple can't stop every other company in the world from using a fruit logo - that's patently (sic) ridiculous.   This is Apple's arrogance speaking.   

    elijahgcommand_f
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Maybe Apple would be better off reassigning the legal team who dreamt up this PR train wreck to other exploits ... Epic?
    elijahg
  • Reply 19 of 26
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,665member
    Xed said:
    elijahg said:
    Has anyone at Apple PR heard about negative publicity?
    Maybe Apple is actively being a dick, but from what I gather with trademark law is that you need to both use it and defend it. It doesn't mean you need to win a lawsuit and you can settle out of court on the issue, but if they didn't defend it, then another entity down that is blatantly infringing could use this logo against Apple. Maybe none of that is correct, but that's what I've gathered from the various Apple trademark issues over the decades.
    This is true, according to a legal friend of mine (training!). I didn't know this.

    And a couple of artist friends (one does comic books, the other does graphic design) reckon its a blatant copy!

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    edited August 2020 neutrino23
  • Reply 20 of 26
    hodarhodar Posts: 331member
    Perhaps McDonalds should join in the lunacy, because I can see some arches in the Apple logo.

    If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander
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