Apple opposes logo for new German bike path, claiming too many similarities

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in General Discussion
Apple is reportedly fighting the logo for a new German bike path, arguing that it bears too much similarity to its own.

Apfelroute


The logo for the "Apfelroute" -- Apple Route -- was registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office in 2018, and is already in use for tourism marketing in the Rhine-Voreifel region, said Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Lawyers for Apple have not only filed an appeal with the GPTO, but sent cease-and-desist letters to Rhine-Voreifel Tourism. Apple's trademark objections revolve around the Apfelroute's green leaf and "bitten" side.

Apple logo


"With the Apfelroute we have a completely different product and it is unbelievable that such a large company is attacking us," said a managing director for Rhine-Voreifel Tourism, Eva Konrath.

Apple is known to be relatively aggressive in enforcing its trademarks, operating on the common belief in the U.S. that failure to do so would sanction abuse. The company has addressed everything from the iPad through to fake service centers.

Another controversial reaction came earlier this year, when Apple launched opposition to the logo for Norway's Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet). That's despite some conspicuous differences, such as semi-realistic rendering and overlaid "FR" iconography.

The Apfelroute is scheduled to open May 19. Since its emblem is already on everything from signs and uniforms to bike racks, it would be expensive to suddenly change course, said Rhine-Voreifel Tourism's Thomas Baumann.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,353member
    The Beatles Record Label Apple Records Likes This.

    Sosumi.

    lkrupptyler82
  • Reply 2 of 30
    This just in: The Rhine-Voreifel Tourism Board hires the lawyers from Swatch Group
    /Apple backs away slowly... then runs.
    :D  :D

    Seriously though, the only similarity in the logos is the leaf.  The actual apple portion looks nothing alike.  The tourism board's apple looks more like a cherry than an apple.  It even has a stem so people can twist it with their tongue. B)
    elijahgn2itivguymacawesome88
  • Reply 3 of 30

    the bitten side is populated with words, letters. c'mon Tim. 

    The could alter the angle of the leaf a bite i mean a bit and that would solve that since it does seem to be almost identical to the apple logo. but c'mon TC
    retrogustomacawesome88
  • Reply 4 of 30
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 719member
    They should just change the shape of the leaf to be more like this, which is an actual Apple leaf.

     
    edited May 1 realisticmacawesome88
  • Reply 5 of 30
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 425member
    It does seem rather insipid on Apple’s part.  They will certainly lose.

    But I’m guessing they want it on record that they made the attempt to protect their logo so that the next time someone comes up with something closer to Apple’s logo they can say that they defended it.  If you don’t make the attempt to defend your IP many courts will conclude that, if it wasn’t worth protecting then, it is not worth protecting now, and the court will summarily dismiss Apple’s complaint.
    williamhdysamoriaIOUbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 6 of 30
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,139member
    Removing the leaf altogether should solve the problem
    macawesome88
  • Reply 7 of 30
    ramanpfafframanpfaff Posts: 30member
    Yeesh. Guess art is in the mind's eye. Apple is wasting money on this one.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    normangnormang Posts: 74member
    First time I saw that logo in this article, didn't even had a remote thought it looked like Apple's, what a waste of Apple's time...
    dysamoriamacawesome88
  • Reply 9 of 30
    jurassicjurassic Posts: 93member
    the only similarity in the logos is the leaf.

    Actually... No.

    In addition to the leaf (which is the same shape, and in the same position as Apple's logo), the line that ends in an arrow head is a copy of the left edge of the "apple" portion of Apple's logo. And in addition, the sign uses the word "Apple". These three elements combined makes it look like the designer intentionally wanted to create a logo that reflected the Apple logo.

  • Reply 10 of 30
    pascal007pascal007 Posts: 86member
    This is absolutely ludicrous. Apple, the company, was named after the fruit. So they have to accept that other things referring to the fruit will also come with a logo that looks like said fruit. The current German bike route logo looks absolutely not like the Apple logo and there is no possible confusion between both logos.

    This said, I like with Retrogusto's suggestion, even if it wouldn't change Apple's moronic stance in all likelyhood.
    dysamoriachemengingrifmxmacawesome88
  • Reply 11 of 30
    bmatthewsbmatthews Posts: 3member
    This might look like an evil corporation going after something frivolous, but they actually have to take action because of the way trademark cases go these days. As someone that has seen the flip side of trademark disputes, for every trademark that is in anyway similar to yours that you don't dispute can actually be used against you by another company to demonstrate a lack of suitable protection. It's the law that's messed up, not the companies.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 12 of 30
    dougddougd Posts: 251member
    I am sick of Apple

  • Reply 13 of 30
    metrixmetrix Posts: 250member
    Slippery slope you let this one in and then everyone wants to dance around "how about this one"
    bmatthews
  • Reply 14 of 30
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,519member
    Reminder to commenters: under US law, trademark holders are required to vigorously (and yes, excessively) protect and defend their trademarks or risk losing control of them. This stems from Domino’s sugar failing to protect their logo until Domino’s Pizza was a huge national brand — and that’s why we have both today (even though I don’t think there was, or is, any consumer confusion with the two).

    Apple literally has no choice but to threaten legal action against anything that even vaguely implies a similar mark or (worse) any possible endorsement. Don’t blame Apple for this one — this happens all the time between companies. Blame the courts for setting the precedent that even unrelated marks such be defended.

    Quick example: “Pizzeria Uno” sued a Cuban restaurant called “Numero Uno” in Orlando FL — the latter having been around two decades earlier than Pizzeria Uno — and the Cuban restaurant lost. Would anyone in their right mind think Pizzeria Uno had opened one outlet of a Cuban restaurant? No. Did that help? No. And guess what was brought up as the precedent? Domino’s Pizza.
    edited May 1 fotoformatbeowulfschmidtdewmebmatthews
  • Reply 15 of 30
    jurassic said:
    the only similarity in the logos is the leaf.

    Actually... No.

    In addition to the leaf (which is the same shape, and in the same position as Apple's logo), the line that ends in an arrow head is a copy of the left edge of the "apple" portion of Apple's logo. And in addition, the sign uses the word "Apple". These three elements combined makes it look like the designer intentionally wanted to create a logo that reflected the Apple logo.

    Agree to disagree..  It looks like a cherry.  The only thing that evokes Apple's logo is the leaf.  The bike route runs through orchards so, yeah, the logo has the German word for apple in it.  Afaik, Apple doesn't use "apfel" at all in Germany.  Not in store or on the German website.  They use the English word there as well.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,139member
    bmatthews said:
    This might look like an evil corporation going after something frivolous, but they actually have to take action because of the way trademark cases go these days. As someone that has seen the flip side of trademark disputes, for every trademark that is in anyway similar to yours that you don't dispute can actually be used against you by another company to demonstrate a lack of suitable protection. It's the law that's messed up, not the companies.
    You aren’t required to defend your trademark *by attacking things that aren’t in any way confuse-able with your trademarks*!
    IOU
  • Reply 17 of 30
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,139member

    dougd said:
    I am sick of Apple

    I’m getting there, too... Still, their products aren’t as bad as the competition. I miss when they were actively superior and excellence was key. Now it’s just quarterly profits and “growth”.
    Rayer
  • Reply 18 of 30
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,034member
    Do I miss something or that we are not allowed to protect our own trademark anymore?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    IOUIOU Posts: 1member
    FYI - this is for a new 72 mile bike route through a fruit and vegetable growing region of North Rhein Westphalia, a region in Germany - getting people to appreciate where their food comes from LOCALLY, and getting them to do so without producing CO2, and get some exercise in the process . . . what's not to like about that??  . . . but Apple sues them. This is a NOT FOR PROFIT entity promoting small local producers who grow APPLES and other produce, for crying' out loud! If Apple must do this to protect their trademark, there must be a better way to fulfill their legal responsibility than making life miserable for people who are trying to do good in this world!! Add to that, this is LOUSY PR in Germany, a wealthy country with discriminating users.  I too am getting fed up with Apple, though I have been a passionate user of their hardware for decades. The passion is slowly dissipating however. For example, I tried their Music trial, wanting to fall in love and gave up - Spotify works SO much better for me, from its interface to its artist radios. Yet trying to play it through HomePods is often a frustrating multi-step process. They are trying to force people onto their service platform . . . and don't get me started about Apple Maps ;-{. I'll gladly pay top dollar for superb hardware but don't push your less than stellar software!
  • Reply 20 of 30
    fotoformatfotoformat Posts: 288member
    realistic said:
    Removing the leaf altogether should solve the problem
    Yeh... and look at what happened to Adam and Eve after that !  ;)
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