Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apple Sues God, Says Fruit of Knowledge Looks Too Much Like Beloved Logo


Apple never fails to amuse me.

Apple Inc. is “mounting a legal challenge” against Australian supermarket chain Woolworths over a logo dispute, saying their stylized W resembling a piece of fresh produce (it is a grocery store after all) looks too much like…well…an apple. As we all know, Apple Inc. owns the original idea of the fruit, and it therefore makes sense that it must leap to protect it.

The title of this brief comes from an MSNBC article found here, where you can see that this is not the first time Apple has been entrenched in a legal battle over its identifying icon. In fact, it’s at least the sixth time, though only five of those six conflicts had Apple on the offensive. Their logo-legal history began when they were ruthlessly attacked by Beatles’ company, Apple Corps, and the resulting settlement involved Apple promising never to enter the music business. In a second settlement with Apple Corps, Apple defended itself by arguing that that the public was smart enough to be able to distinguish between their logo and a more realistic-looking apple of a different color.

It would seem that Apple is making its current opinion on the intelligence of the public quite clear.

I highly recommend you take a look at the article – the history of Apple’s legal battles is pretty comical. The dispute against Australian pornographic channel Adults Only is my favorite.

To be fair, Woolworths’ did file a blanket trademark application, which would leave open the possibility of pasting its logo onto any imaginable product including retail, electrical goods and technology. This could, in theory, someday pit Woolworths in a direct and bitter competition with Apple, but you’ll forgive me if I’m skeptical. Even if it were true, I simply can’t envision many people buying a Woolworths brand laptop and complaining, “I can’t tell the difference between this green W and a grey graphic apple with a bite out of it!” But then again, sometimes I get Acer and Asus mixed up because they sound similar.

The designer of the Woolworths logo argues: “Based on this logic, [Apple] would have to take action against every fruit-seller.” I await the inevitable day when Apple decides that this is a brilliant idea.