Apple challenges new Woolworths logo

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Attorneys for Apple have begun a legal response against the largest supermarket chain in Australia over a logo the electronics company says is too similar to its own iconic trademark.



Woolworths Supermarkets announced in August 2008 that it would revamp its corporate branding strategy (PDF) with a new logo, among other changes.



The Australian company has steered clear of mentioning apples in relation to its new mark, claiming the stylized 'W' was been paired with "an abstract leaf symbol" to represent fresh food. But others have noted its similarity to that particular fruit, including a trade publication that has twice compared the logo to a "peeling apple" (1, 2).



Apple, which has a long history of defending its world-famous bitten apple logo, has decided the similarities are a little too close for comfort. At first glance, the chance for confusion between a computer company and a food seller seems remote, but Woolworths' application asked for a blanket trademark extending even to electrical goods and technology.



"While we can't rule [computers, musical players, or other devices] out, we haven't got any plans at the moment," said a Woolworths spokesman.



The companies' trademarks could also clash in their respective retail presences. Apple operates an expanding line of international retail stores, while Woolworths is the largest retail company in Australia and New Zealand. Â*And although the latter it is named after the American F.W. Woolworth chain of "five and dime" stores, the two are not related.



Apple will make its case to IP Australia, the federal agency that governs trademarks in that country. Almost one year ago, Apple challenged a Canadian school that used its own apple logo on a storefront with other logos, including Adobe and Microsoft Office, arguing that it could lead to confusion amongst customers expecting one of Apple's stores.







In April 2008, Apple similarly opposed a trademark filing for New York City's GreeNYC campaign that incorporated a stylized apple with a stalk and leaf.



And, most notably, Apple and The Beatles' parent company Apple Corps finally reached an agreement in 2007 after nearly thirty years of controversy about the use of the name "Apple" and related logos in various aspects of the music business.



Apple has not commented publicly on this latest dispute.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 126
    kinda lame..
  • Reply 2 of 126
    I couldn't understand why Apple would bother until I read the article. Having said that, two things. I don't see enough similarity for Apple to be concerned and what an awful Woolworths logo. They should go back to the drawing board on that one and both problems (ugly logo and Apple's challenge) will go away.
  • Reply 3 of 126
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post


    I couldn't understand why Apple would bother until I read the article. Having said that, two things. I don't see enough similarity for Apple to be concerned and what an awful Woolworths logo. They should go back to the drawing board on that one and both problems (ugly logo and Apple's challenge) will go away.



    They're sort of obliged to defend the trademark, otherwise they may lose control over it. They will probably lose this challenge, especially since it's being decided by a government department and not a jury.
  • Reply 4 of 126
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    How you can claim copyright over a simple silhouette of one of the most common fruits in the world is beyond me. And this attack on woolworths is beyond lame.
  • Reply 5 of 126
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    How you can claim copyright over a simple silhouette of one of the most common fruits in the world is beyond me. And this attack on woolworths is beyond lame.



    Not copyright, trademark. Different thing altogether.
  • Reply 6 of 126
    sluslu Posts: 23member
    Frivolous.
  • Reply 7 of 126
    If sanity could be defined as the ability to recognize differences, similarities, and identities, then Apple's lawyers could be classified as insane.



    There is clearly a difference between the two logos, and enough difference that the two CANNOT possible be confused as the same.



    Apple should be ashamed of filing such a stupid lawsuit...
  • Reply 8 of 126
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alectheking View Post


    kinda lame..





    Who, Apple or Woolworth?
  • Reply 9 of 126
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    Apple won't win.



    Woolworth's will simply pull up very common instances of Apple's being used in other adverstising.





    However:



    With that being said claims that Apple should be ashamed or that this is frivolous are incorrect. As Merdhead stated you must defend potential encroachmen of your trademark in order to keep yours. We don't know who "vigorously" Apple intends to defend but any effort on their part preserves their right to challenge future encroachment.
  • Reply 10 of 126
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    How you can claim copyright over a simple silhouette of one of the most common fruits in the world is beyond me. And this attack on woolworths is beyond lame.



    It's quite simple ... Apple has one of the worlds most recognizable names & trademark in the world and they have to, by law, defend it 100% or lose that trademark ... end of story.
  • Reply 11 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post


    Who, Apple or Woolworth?



    I love the new woolies logo. You should have seen the old one - very old fashioned. And I like both brands and could not mix them up if I tried. To me the Woolworths logo looks like a green tomato where as apple's logo isn't usually green (when have you seen it be green?)
  • Reply 12 of 126
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slu View Post


    Frivolous.





    How much money do you think that Apple logo is worth to Apple ... how many people, the world over instantly identifies Apple computer with that logo ... trust me ... it's worth millions. Hardly frivolous.
  • Reply 13 of 126
    alpichalpich Posts: 96member
    This is nuts. I live in Australia and buy almost everything Apple and never though Woolworths looked like Apple computers. Nor would I walk into my supermarket and say can I buy an iPod and be fooled by a $40 mp3 player sold next to a DVD play, a HD tuner and a bunch of DVD's surrounded by tin of friut & veg, pasta, toothpaste, milk, meet, and nappies to name just a few of the 1000's of supermarket products they sell.
  • Reply 14 of 126
    So a company that sells fresh apples cannot use an image of an apple in it's logo because a consumer electronics company that makes laptops, computers, phones and digital players claim to own the trademark.

    Ok if there was ever any doubt that Apple is the new Microsoft it has now been erased.
  • Reply 15 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post


    How much money do you think that Apple logo is worth to Apple ... how many people, the world over instantly identifies Apple computer with that logo ... trust me ... it's worth millions. Hardly frivolous.



    You'd be correct if the logo looked like the Apple logo it doesn't though so this whole thing is frivolous. Sorry but Apple is the jerk here
  • Reply 16 of 126
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Sorry legal team, but the judge may ask,

    "Well tell me, gentlemen, What does this fruit have to do with your computer? Maybe it is you that needs to change your deceptive looking logo, 'cause you can't eat your produce! And, as has been mentioned, it looks a lot like John & Paul's record label-which I have consumed all my life!"
  • Reply 17 of 126
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fourthletter View Post


    So a company that sells fresh apples cannot use an image of an apple in it's logo because a consumer electronics company that makes laptops, computers, phones and digital players claim to own the trademark.

    Ok if there was ever any doubt that Apple is the new Microsoft it has now been erased.



    It's pretty obvious you haven't even read the entire article here.

    Either do so, or stop trolling (or both).
  • Reply 18 of 126
    drudru Posts: 43member
    The Woolworth logo is pretty cool but why is the leaf always leaning to the right?



    I find this is less potentially confusing than the prior example from that school especially given the overall context. I think the logo works just as well if the leaf is left leaning. Simple fix, imho.
  • Reply 19 of 126
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    Oh grow up Apple
  • Reply 20 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Attorneys for Apple have begun a legal response against the largest supermarket chain in Australia over a logo the electronics company says is too similar to its own iconic trademark.



    Woolworths Supermarkets announced in August 2008 that it would revamp its corporate branding strategy (PDF) with a new logo, among other changes.



    The Australian company has steered clear of mentioning apples in relation to its new mark, claiming the stylized 'W' was been paired with "an abstract leaf symbol" to represent fresh food. But others have noted its similarity to that particular fruit, including a trade publication that has twice compared the logo to a "peeling apple" (1, 2).



    Apple, which has a long history of defending its world-famous bitten apple logo, has decided the similarities are a little too close for comfort. At first glance, the chance for confusion between a computer company and a food seller seems remote, but Woolworths' application asked for a blanket trademark extending even to electrical goods and technology.



    "While we can't rule [computers, musical players, or other devices] out, we haven't got any plans at the moment," said a Woolworths spokesman.



    The companies' trademarks could also clash in their respective retail presences. Apple operates an expanding line of international retail stores, while Woolworths is the largest retail company in Australia and New Zealand. *And although the latter it is named after the American F.W. Woolworth chain of "five and dime" stores, the two are not related.



    Apple will make its case to IP Australia, the federal agency that governs trademarks in that country. Almost one year ago, Apple challenged a Canadian school that used its own apple logo on a storefront with other logos, including Adobe and Microsoft Office, arguing that it could lead to confusion amongst customers expecting one of Apple's stores.







    In April 2008, Apple similarly opposed a trademark filing for New York City's GreeNYC campaign that incorporated a stylized apple with a stalk and leaf.



    And, most notably, Apple and The Beatles' parent company Apple Corps finally reached an agreement in 2007 after nearly thirty years of controversy about the use of the name "Apple" and related logos in various aspects of the music business.



    Apple has not commented publicly on this latest dispute.



    Apple is clearly both paranoid and arrogant.

    A nasty combination.
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