Apple, Prepear enter settlement negotiations over fruit logo trademark

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2020
Apple and Prepear recently entered settlement talks over the meal planning app's disputed pear-shaped logo, a design which the tech giant maintains is too similar to its own iconic apple mark.

Prepear


The iPhone maker raised eyebrows in August when it formally objected to a trademark application from meal planning firm Super Healthy Kids, which filed for a minimalist pear illustration to go along with its app Prepear. According to Apple, the pear logo bears too close a resemblance to its "famous Apple Logo" and "creates a similar commercial impression."

A similar grievance was lodged in Canada weeks later.

Prepear accused Apple of engaging in "bullying" tactics that cost the company "many thousands of dollars" and resulted in the layoff of at least one employee. In response, Prepear co-founder and COO Russell Monson launched a petition to "save the pear" and "end Apple's aggressive opposition of businesses with fruit logos."

"Apple has been opposing small businesses with fruit-related logos by starting expensive legal action even when those logos don't look anything like Apple's logo, or aren't in the same line of business as Apple at all," the petition reads.

So far, the appeal has garnered nearly 270,000 signatures.

The saga might soon come to a close, however, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week announced Apple and Prepear have entered talks to settle the matter. As reported by MacRumors, the body suspended trial proceedings as the two parties discuss a detente.

If a settlement is not reached, Apple's action will recommence on Jan. 23.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    This is overkill, Apple. 
    elijahggregoriusmpaxmanMplsPmuthuk_vanalingam80s_Apple_Guynapoleon_phoneapartAlex1NF_Kent_Dn2itivguy
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Really disappointed in Apple over this. Ridiculous.
    gregoriusmelijahgmuthuk_vanalingam80s_Apple_Guynapoleon_phoneapartAlex1NF_Kent_D2stepbayn2itivguymarklark
  • Reply 3 of 36
    As a longtime graphic designer, I am keenly aware of issues related to company branding. Logo creation is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. When a company's brand becomes associated with attributes such as success, quality goods and services, and strong reputation, defending that branding becomes critical both commercially and legally.

    Just as important, a fledgling company must create a brand that distinguishes it from others, regardless of how similar or dissimilar the companies may be. In its endeavor to stand apart, the nascent company must be free to adopt a compelling design while taking great care not to create confusion in the marketplace.

    In this case, I would say Apple is being heavy handed and not at all reasonable. Apple's case has nothing to do with the likelihood of product confusion or diminution of company value. It simply comes down to getting pissy simply because another company has dared to represent itself with a minimalist piece of fruit.

    I would love to see this dispute go to trial, with Apple being liable for Prepear's total accumulated legal expenses, plus some punitive damages.
    gregoriusmelijahganantksundarammuthuk_vanalingam80s_Apple_Guynapoleon_phoneapartsvanstromAlex1N2stepbayn2itivguy
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Agreed. Apple is in the wrong in this matter. 
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam80s_Apple_Guynapoleon_phoneapartAlex1N2stepbayn2itivguymarklarkchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Cook was probably so preoccupied with this logo issue and the 20 macs that went to SK instead of Japan that he probably decided to skip the meeting with Elon Musk that could have gotten Tesla for Apple! He is so focused on the irrelevant these days that he missed the chance to make revolutionary changes. As a shareholder I love Cook. As an Apple fan he is a major disappointment. Iterative update after iterative update ... ORCL, IBM, XOM, MSFT, APPL ... except for the laughably overpriced new headphone. Do they really think that anyone but the dumbest fanboys or people with too much money are going to buy those? 
    edited December 2020 Alex1Ninplainviewelijahg2stepbay
  • Reply 6 of 36
    amar99amar99 Posts: 181member
    Wait which one is the Apple logo again? I just can't tell them apart. They're nearly identical. /s
    zeus423fred1gregoriusmAlex1Nanantksundaramelijahg2stepbayn2itivguymarklark
  • Reply 7 of 36
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,278member
    Holy cow.  This is so wrong.  Anyone with a brain (i.e., not a lawyer) can clearly see those two logos are not even close. I love Apple, invest in AAPL and even defend Apple when it comes to their cut of the App store take, but this fight is a horrible crying shame.
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1Nanantksundaram2stepbayn2itivguymarklarkchemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 36
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,727member
    Yeah - back out gracefully Apple, while there is still time. Nobody would mistake the two nor does the pear shape in anyway diminish the value of the Apple logo. Total overkill. 
    gregoriusmAlex1Nanantksundaram2stepbayn2itivguymarklarkchemengin1
  • Reply 9 of 36
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,834member
    I’m with everyone here. Apple is doing a good job of being a big, evil company in this case. 

    muthuk_vanalingamgregoriusmAlex1Nbaconstanganantksundaramelijahg2stepbayn2itivguymarklarkchemengin1
  • Reply 10 of 36
    That’s a sad looking Pear. 
    marklark
  • Reply 11 of 36
    Companies need to actively defend trademarks or the power of the trademark weakens. Let it slip even a little, and future cases get weaker. Unfortunately I think Apple’s hands are tied a bit in this case. They pretty much have to defend their trademark even when it’s a bit ridiculous. Common sense may suggest they are very different, but legally I don’t think it’s that simple. 

    Unfortunately due to Apple’s size, anything is going to look like they are pushing around the little guy. 
    richsAlex1N
  • Reply 12 of 36
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    yesterday i saw a kangaroo apple for the first time. Will Apple sue me if i use it as a logo? 
    what about golden delicious? granny smith? fuji apple? com’on, big techs.
    Alex1Nmarklark
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Looks nothing like an Apple logo 
    Alex1N2stepbayn2itivguymarklark
  • Reply 14 of 36
    There’s no “mix up” that can be caused by these two vastly different logos, considering the type of business. It’s not that prepear is selling phones and designing an operating system. 
    That makes Apple’s claim even more sad. 
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1Nelijahg2stepbayn2itivguy
  • Reply 15 of 36
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,092member
    Just how are the two logos similar, other than both showing a piece of fruit? 
    Pretty hypocritical from a company that got in trouble with a record company for using the same name until they pointed out that they were completely different types of businesses. Until they weren’t.
    muthuk_vanalingamgregoriusmAlex1Nwilliamhbaconstanganantksundaramelijahgn2itivguy
  • Reply 16 of 36
    McDonald's sued a hotel chain called McSleep in 1988 and won. Trademarks don't have to be identical to cause confusion. Users on this forum are hardly a good sample of the general population to determine what might be confusing. 

    If Prepear wins, then you're definitely going to see copycats calling themselves:
    Lemon Computers, logo: 🍋
    Orange Computers, logo: 🍊
    Cherry Computers, logo: 🍒
    Peach Computers, logo: 🍑
    Mango Computers, logo: 🥭
    Hmm, those emoji don't seem to be supported on this website, but trust me, they are the emoji for those fruits which also contain a leaf.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,092member
    McDonald's sued a hotel chain called McSleep in 1988 and won. Trademarks don't have to be identical to cause confusion. Users on this forum are hardly a good sample of the general population to determine what might be confusing. 

    If Prepear wins, then you're definitely going to see copycats calling themselves:
    Lemon Computers, logo: 🍋
    Orange Computers, logo: 🍊
    Cherry Computers, logo: 🍒
    Peach Computers, logo: 🍑
    Mango Computers, logo: 🥭
    Hmm, those emoji don't seem to be supported on this website, but trust me, they are the emoji for those fruits which also contain a leaf.
    One case of an irrational decision doesn’t mean it’s right.
    Why not have other computer companies named after fruit. Would anyone really think they had a connection to Apple or were stealing market share or publicity?  What’s next, a farm that raises and sells apples not being able to call itself an “apple farm”?  
    Oh yea, I keep sinking to the level of imagining that court cases are decided based on logic. Sorry!
    muthuk_vanalingambaconstangelijahgn2itivguy
  • Reply 18 of 36
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,005member
    Let's not forget Apple's long history in the area of trademark infringement, and that is as a serial violator as established in courts.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

    I will concede that some of Apple Corps actions look silly but I imagine that all stems from the initial contemptuous acts by Apple Computer (presumably Jobs.)

    elijahgn2itivguy
  • Reply 19 of 36
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,005member

    McDonald's sued a hotel chain called McSleep in 1988 and won. Trademarks don't have to be identical to cause confusion. Users on this forum are hardly a good sample of the general population to determine what might be confusing. 

    If Prepear wins, then you're definitely going to see copycats calling themselves:
    Lemon Computers, logo: 🍋
    Orange Computers, logo: 🍊
    Cherry Computers, logo: 🍒
    Peach Computers, logo: 🍑
    Mango Computers, logo: 🥭
    Hmm, those emoji don't seem to be supported on this website, but trust me, they are the emoji for those fruits which also contain a leaf.
    Don't you think McDonalds had a stronger claim for consumer confusion? McDonalds has a lot of "Mc" trademarks like McFlurry, McMuffin, McCafe, McRib, McChicken. If someone wants to start Lemon Computers, nobody would confuse it with Apple. That someone would discover that it was the product and not the name that brought Apple success.
    fred1
  • Reply 20 of 36
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    All of you who are trashing Apple over this completely underestimate the abject stupidity of the human race. Who would confuse a pear logo with an apple logo? Millions upon millions of the stupid class. I’ll bet those of you who scored in the 95th percentile of the SAT or ACT never though you were actually smarter than most of the humans on the planet. Turns out you are.

    If an alien stopped by Earth to evaluate the inhabitants it would depend on who the alien interviewed. If the alien interviewed Alex Jones would the alien come to different conclusions than if it had interviewed Kip Thorn? 
    edited December 2020
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