Apple lawyers with too much spare time...

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Celf, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Celf macrumors member

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    #1
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    It won't go anywhere as Apple Inc. and this cafe cannot be confused for each other.
     
  3. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #3
    It isn't "too much spare time." It's their job.

    Here's the problem:

    http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/apple-wants-a-german-cafe-to-stop-using-this-logo-20111021/

    "Apple's attorneys will likely argue that, even if this café’s owner has no intention of capitalizing off of their success, letting it slide could establish precedence for other (blatant and intentional) infringement of the Apple logo."

    If Apple let's this slide, what's next? It could be a major player and/or someone intending to infringe in a more meaningful or predatory manner. The next entity will look at this case, where Apple let it the matter drop, will examine the Apfelkind logo, make note of how they themselves can push the newly-established limits, and presto: Apple's trademarked logo is under fire and there is less they can do about it.

    It's quite unfortunate that this mom-and-pop establishment had to choose this particular logo at the particular time they did.

    Are we going to give small establishments a pass and just go after the larger ones? Any entity - small or large - if left unchecked can weaken a trademark to the point that the next potential infringer can push the limits even further, and there will come a point where it will be quite difficult for Apple to establish any sort of reasonable cause against anyone.

    Every matter you let slide gives the *next* entity more ammunition. It becomes cumulative. The bigger the body of precedence, the less you can argue against it.

    This could also be a big PR-issue for Apple, and those who don't understand what's at stake can just go ahead and crucify them. So how does Apple's pulling back resolve this issue? It doesn't.

    I'm not advocating for either side here. But what would you propose as a solution?

    My solution: let the courts make the determination. Trademarks, copyrights, and IP at large must pass certain legal tests. This applies to everyone, large or small.
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #4
    Sorry, but that logo isn't even close (other than the generic fruit shape) and the businesses aren't in related enough industries to be infringement.

    ----------

    That's the problem, the mom-and-pop cafe won't have enough money to fight it in court - effectively, Apple is bullying this unrelated business.
     
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #6
    You better take that down before you get sued. :p
     
  6. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #7
    The legal tests have to be met, large or small. Claiming that Apfelkind is small and Apple is bullying doesn't solve the issue. If as a business owner you can't defend your IP (especially where your IP is possibly infringing) then what? The larger entity must back off (thought they are possibly correct) because they might be perceived as a "bully" all due to one party's potential inability to pay?

    If Apfelkind did, hypothetically, have the money, and plenty of it, and they lost in court - their IP having failed to pass legal tests - then what would your response be?

    The legal tests have to be met when IP is challenged. This applies to everyone. If you can't see through the process that's just tough. Obtaining a trademark carries with it a reasonable expectation of performance under the law, that is, the expectation that it will be defended or strengthened, in order to prevent its dilution.

    Besides, Apfelkind's ability to finance the process has not been established, nor has it been established exactly how long the process will be and at what point a binding decision can be reached.
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #8
    Look up the definition of trademark infringement - it doesn't fit.

    Note the bolded parts (my emphasis):

     
  8. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #9
    I'm not an IP law judge, neither are you.

    Some of us rushed to judge the Apple-Samsung case and found out it wasn't so simple. Some of us rushed to judge the Apple-Psystar case, and found it to be more of a tangle than expected.

    Again, this can only be determined by legal tests, not armchair law class on a tech forum. For these legal tests to happen, parties must go through the courts. It's for them to determine whether it fits. That's why they are there.

    Any party is allowed to file a claim. It's within Apple's right or within (fill in space with any company name)'s right.
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #10
    I agree that any party can file a claim, however, this case should not make it to a judge - it will be dismissed on the grounds I bolded.
     
  10. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #11
    Then so be it! I hope you're right.

    If Apple and Apfelkind can be rendered a judgment early on, and before it goes further, then I am all for whatever the result will be, 100%.
     
  11. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #12
    Trust me, those lawyers don't have too much free time.

    Apple has sued over much less recognizable logos.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #13
    I hate it when I go into a Apple Store and find out that it's actually cafe. :rolleyes:

    Seriously, this obsession with suing people and other companies is not needed and is what is seriously putting me off Apple. The majority of their cases I find are... um... fruitless.
     
  13. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #14
    They have the option to do nothing, and to keep doing nothing. Then some major corporation with wads of cash comes along who *does* pose a threat and who *does* wilfully infringe and Apple can have no argument, having let similar matters slide in the past. If precedent is not in your favour (because you sat around too long being hesitant about defending and clarifying your IP) it's a greater uphill battle each time.

    I had no idea that Apple's legal pursuits made your iPad slower. Or degraded the performance of your Mac. Or prevented you from getting a new iPhone.

    Or do you feel bad when using their products? Do you feel you have a moral responsibility not to use Apple products because they somehow represent evil or wrongdoing? :rolleyes:

    If so, I will gladly take your Apple gear off your hands. Anytime you're ready to sell, just hit me up and I will gladly free you of your guilt.
     
  14. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #15
    I have a question: Is there anything that Apple has done, or is doing, that you consider wrong or ill considered?

    Anything!? Ever?!

    Is it even possible, in you considered opinion, for Apple to be wrong or do something deserving of reasonable criticism!?

    Taking this little shop to court could, conceivably, break them. This in the name of trademark protection in a situation that no one could possibly mistake the shop for an Apple store, nor do any damage of any kind to Apple. In fact, the logo looks more like the MR logo - maybe MR should join the suit.

    Nothing wrong with admiring Apple and it's products. It does seem to me, however, that your absolute defense of everything Apple is way over the top, and totally predictable.

    Just one observer's opinion...:D
     
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #16
    I never said that is effected their products. I am quite happy with the products from Apple I have and I will continue to use them happily.

    However, this kind of behavior is putting me off buying any future products off them. I don't want the money from my purchase going towards putting some family run cafe that happens to have a logo that somewhat resembles an Apple out of business. Especially when other companies release products just as good.

    Plenty of people switched to Mac in the early 00's because they disapproved of Microsoft and what they dubbed "the evil empire." This is the same idea, except it now applies to Apple.

    But hey, my opinion is Anecdotal right? So why even bother replying to my posts when you know full well they don't count. :rolleyes:
     
  16. *LTD*, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #17
    Since Steve Jobs' return to Apple, there is very little I can reasonably fault them with.

    Possibly:

    - The left sidebar in mail.app
    - Removing iDisk without offering a viable replacement
    - Being slow to trademark or copyright key items (i.e., App Store)
    - Magic Mouse (poor ergonomics)
    - Hockey puck mouse (obvious reasons)
    - No 1080p playback on AppleTV and compatibility with only a limited number of formats. Of course, a Mac Mini makes a great "AppleTV", but that isn't the point. ;)

    There may be other things, but they're ephemeral in the grand scheme. If you don't' pick your battles you can find fault with everything and enjoy nothing.

    Business and dollar-wise, Apple has been razor-sharp. Their strategy has been near-perfect.

    Before Steve Jobs' return, the list of things I could fault them with probably extends into infinity.

    I hope that answers your question (or rather, provocation.)


    Sure. As is everyone.
    It's conceivable. They have the option to change their logo. If you think that is unjust, then let them pursue the matter on their own terms. They, as you put it, conceivably, do have the finances to see through the preliminaries, wherein they could, conceivably, get a judgment to dismiss Apple's claim.

    If a determination is made that Apple does indeed have a case, then it's tough luck for Apfelkind. However, we don't know what the procedure is to be, we don't know how far Apfelkind intends to go in defending their position, we don't know what their ability to finance this will be, and we don't know how soon a ruling can be rendered.
    And we all thought Apple's EULA was unenforceable and that PsyStar was just the "little guy" trying to make a living. Well, not all of us thought that.
    No, there isn't anything wrong with it. However, admiring Apple has nothing to do with this discussion. The issue is who gets a special pass to avoid legal tests of IP and who doesn't, seemingly based on ability to pay and/or size of company. The real victim here over the long term is the integrity of IP and the integrity of the system that exists to enforce it.
     
  17. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #18
    So, I'm not sure how this works...if the cafe spends money on a defense, and is then found to be not at fault, does Apple have to pay for their legal defense? In that case, it's easily The Big Guy vs. The Little Guy, because The Big Guy has nothing to lose, and The Little Guy could be put out of business simply because of a silly lawsuit. To fault the cafe owners for using the name of a fruit in their name, and a corresponding logo (that bears zero resemblance to the computer company logo) is stretching it pretty far.

    So does this now mean that anything related to apples is off limits for anything ever again?

    For a company that is so worried about anti-business regulations, they are sure hitting hard on others.
     
  18. *LTD*, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #19
    If the claimants lose they are usually required to pay costs.

    At least under Common Law there is a principle of Costs in the Cause (Costs reserved, etc.) The loser pays legal costs to the winner. This does not apply in all cases, however. In any event, there is a structure in place for this procedure.

    I would imagine this is the case elsewhere in democratic countries, that the winner may seek redress or compensation as to their legal costs. Usually, this mechanism is already a given or an implied penalty in most civil proceedings.
     
  19. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #20
    Just a FYI. That logo now belongs to Apple,Inc.

    It was part of the settlement with Applecorp.

    :)
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #21
    It didn't belong to Apple Inc when they first "infringed" on it ;)
     
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #22
    Apple is quickly becoming the new monster cables in terms of these stupid trademark law suits. I question if any of them would hold up at all in court.
     
  22. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #23
    Unfortunately, the point is not simply for Apple to win (or lose.) The point is to attempt a defense of trademarks and copyrights in order to establish precedent in their favour. This is not a joke or a game. Apple has to show they take their own IP seriously. They let something potentially questionable pass, then the next time it will be more difficult for them to make their case.

    There is an expectation that Apple do this if there is any possibility that their trademark is threatened, which is for any claimant to determine themselves, as is their right. Their claim is then tested by the courts. If it is deemed to be frivolous, they are open to sanctions and penalties. This goes for anyone, especially when they have shareholders to answer to. Whether it's frivolous remains to be seen. As long as trademarks exist and are a thing to be claimed and protected, what you're seeing here is within Apple's right (it's within anyone's right) and within the realm of reasonable expectation.

    It's an unfortunate situation, but there is no reason for anyone's alleged IP to be beyond legal tests. Everything is subject to them if challenged. There is no reason it should be any different or that any exception be made based on company size or revenue vis-a-vis the costs of legal proceedings.

    If anything, there should be a mechanism in place for a reasonable preliminary assessment of such cases before exorbitant legal costs are incurred. Argue for that instead, and not against someone's right to file a claim.
     
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    Proving a case is frivolous is a pretty high bar. Apple can still lose and bankrupt the other company and still not have to pay a dime. Top it off player like Apple an pretty much keep it tided up in court until they bankrupt the other guy so they win and do not have to pay anything.

    This is a crap case and Apple is going way to far in its "protection" They are pushing Monsters Cable level of stupid law suits in trademark.
     
  24. MacHamster68, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #25
    better edit that image or some Apple lawyers will sue you for

    sorry i find Apple's attitude just laughable and childish , sorry cant take Apple serious as a company now .


    [​IMG]
    i mean nobody with a iQ above a 10 will go in there and expect to find Apple computers inside for sale .

    who do they want to sue next ...all farmers who sell Apples on the roadside

    [​IMG]


    but when Apple is already onto suing people ...what about McDonald's suing Apple for using the name Mac in their advertisements and on their website and in the name of their products .... because the Mac is part of McDonald's trademark Big Mac, ok not that somebody would try to eat a MacBook or a MacPro or a iMac .. ok not so sure about that in America ;)

    i guess only American companies can come up with such idiotic ideas , but understandable a nation that needs to have a car beeping when the door is open and beeping when the key is in the ignition ..or a on sleeping pills a Warning:" May cause Drowsiness" or Komatsu Floodlights sold in USA the warning : This floodlight is capable of illuminating large areas, even in the dark ......have Americans really such low IQ's and a total lack of common sense ?
     

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