Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:24

Apple objects to German cafe trademark

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In another trademark dispute, Apple is up in arms about the logo used by a Bonn cafe with a (fruity) apple theme.

Apple's no stranger to trademark disputes. For example, two years ago it attempted to block the registration of Woolworths then-new 'apple peel' stylised-W trademark.

Apple thought - or at least claimed - that the Woolworth's logo was too similar to its own. Since Woolworths application included use of the trademark in Class 9 (which covers data processing equipment and computers, mobile phone covers and accessories, computer devices and computer peripheral devices, telephones, and computer hardware and software) it's not hard to see why Apple objected.

But Woolworths was granted trade mark registration number 1258297, so it seems Apple lost the argument.

Now the Apple is taking on a much smaller business - there's a privately owned cafe in Bonn, Germany called Apfelkind ('Apple child'), which has applied to register a trademark consisting of a picture of an apple with a child's silhouetted face:

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Apple has reportedly taken exception, suggesting the similarity between the two logos could confuse consumers. Well, yes - trademarks have to be defended, and 'confusion' (actual or likely) is the basis for allegations of trademark infringement.

Apple's lawyers used Mr Justice Foster's "a moron in a hurry" test when arguing that the then Apple Computer logo couldn't be confused with that of Apple Corps, but they don't seem to apply it when they come across other companies' trademarks that include an apple element.

 

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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