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BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

Last updated on: November 21, 2011 06:54 IST

BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

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Tech2Date.com

In regards to revenue and profit -- and some would argue incredible reputation -- Apple Inc is the largest technology company worldwide. The company's revenue for 2011 alone is set to exceed a staggering 110 billion dollars. It is understandable then, that those behind the brand's success would want to protect its intellectual property.

Apple's previous legal action (this year alone!) includes suing Samsung and Motorola over a number of iPad and iPhone patents and online retailer Amazon for the use of the 'App Store' name. The company even entered legal disputes with a teenager who was selling white housing conversion kits for the iPhone before the ivory version of the product hit the market.

Courtesy: Tech2Date.com

The author of this guest post at Tech2Date -- Katherine Cole -- has always had a keen interest in logo design but has never been quite skilled enough at drawing or Photoshop to become a logo maker herself.

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BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

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Perhaps more bizarrely Apple has been involved in many legal disputes over the years with companies who also comprise an apple fruit in their respective logos. The latest instance of this hit the news last week when it was revealed that the corporation is pushing to stop a German family-run cafe -- named Apfelkind -- from using its red apple-meets-silhouette-face logo.

The owner Christin Romer was shocked to receive a letter from Apple stating that the colour and shape of her logo could confuse Apple customers. Romer is standing her ground however and is refusing to withdraw her patent application for the symbol.

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Other instances of Apple suing against companies using fruity logos include:

Apple VS Sichuan Fangguo Food Co LTD

Despite the fact that Sichuan Fangguo Food Co LTD's logo resembles that of LG Electronics more than it does Apple's, Apple is suing the food company for the 'similarities' of its logo.

Apple has requested that the leaf part of their logo is removed, particularly in the wake of the information that Sichuan has recently extended its trademark into new areas -- including 'notebook computers' -- making the logo more significant.

Sichuan's CEO claims that he had never even heard of Apple when the logo was first conceptualised.

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Image: Apple VS Sichuan Fangguo Food Co LTD

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BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

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Apple Computer VS Apple Corps

Between the years of 1978 and 2006, there has been a multitude of legal disputes between Apple Computer and Apple Corps. The Apple Corps conglomerate -- headed by Apple Records -- was launched in 1968 by several members of pop band The Beatles, making the company eight years older than Apple Computer (founded in 1976). Apple Inc did not file legal action in this instance -- instead it was Apple Corps who took legal action.

The first battle for trademark infringement occurred between 1978 and 1981 and was temporarily resolved with an $80,000 settlement given to the record label and an agreement that Apple Computer would never enter the music market and that Apple Corps would never join the computer market.

Many further law suits have occurred over the years as a result of Apple Computer including audio editing software on its machines, launching iTunes/iPods and music from The Beatle's back catalogue being sold by Apple Inc without permission.

2010 saw 17 albums from the band finally released for purchase on iTunes.

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Image: Apple Computer VS Apple Corps

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BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

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Apple VS Woolworths

Back in 2009, Australia's largest food retailer Woolworths claimed that its latest logo was nothing more than a green, stylised 'W' represented by a strip of fresh produce.

Apple on the other hand saw the logo simply as an apple and therefore a direct rip-off of Apple's own logo design.

Apple's primary concern regarding Woolworths's logo is that a blanket trade marking application had been made, meaning that the logo could be placed onto any of the products that Woolworths sold, including electronic goods.

Seemingly, Apple was unsuccessful in the lawsuit against Woolworths, who continues to use the logo proudly to this day.

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Image: Apple VS Woolworths

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BIZARRE lawsuits of Apple and its logo

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Apple vs VSBT School

There was once a time when the image of an apple was strongly associated with the classroom but this did not stop Apple Inc from filing legal action against the Victoria School of Business and Technology (Canada) for their similar logo back in 2008.

Again, the single leaf included in VSBT's design was of high concern to Apple, who also claimed that the school's icon could indicate that it was Apple affiliated/certified.

Assumedly, Apple won the case, for the logo no longer appears on VSBT's website.

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Image: Apple vs VSBT School

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The war for Steve Jobs Memorial Apple logo

In other Apple logo-related news, when CEO Steve Jobs sadly passed away due to pancreatic cancer earlier this year, the Apple logo was altered to contain a profile impression of his face in memorial. But who was responsible for this tribute which went viral across several social networks?

Three separate Apple employees are claiming that they are solely behind the design. One claims he designed the adapted logo in May 2011, another in August and a third on the day of Jobs' death. The third individual has applied for copyright and trademark protection for the image but this application may not be granted for another reason besides the triple claim behind its design such protection is only applicable to original works and the Jobs-adapted logo borrows heavily from the original Apple emblem.

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Image: The war for Steve Jobs Memorial Apple logo

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