Apple threatens to sue a school

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by mr.steevo, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004

    I noticed in the news that Apple doesn't like that the Victoria School of Business and Technology uses an apple in their logo. The school is arguing that their logo looks nothing like the Apple logo and is asking for opinions from the online community. They acknowledge that they can not fight this in court, but want your opinion anyway.

    And think about this. Is Mac Rumors next?

  2. Bfat567 macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2008
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    They kind of have to, its a trademark situation, and you have to actively fight for your trademarks, or they can eventually become invalid.

    I think there's somethign vaguely "apple-ish" about the logo, but not enough to make a big thing about it. I think the kicker is the way the leaf on top looks. It looks very much derived from apple's logo to me on that count. it is in a different industry, so I'm surprised apple cares, but like I said, you have to fight these things to protect trademarks.
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Exactly. This is pretty standard stuff where the protections of trademarks is concerned. I thought the company's response was weak.
  5. BoingoBongo macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    Their logo is definitely not as nice, but it does look similar.

    It's really cool that they're being so open and honest about the whole thing.
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Your title is misleading. The VSBT is not a school in the traditional sense. It is a business training center. If its URL means anything, then its .com top-level domain name indicates a for-profit business. However, even non-profits are not allowed to violate trademark.

    This is not a close call. VSBT's logo is a cheap effort that used Apple's logo as its starting point. Shame on the VSBT for such a crappy rip-off and shame on you for trying to engender sympathy for it.

    Absolutely not. The logo has not a single line in common with the Apple logo. The VSBT logo restored the bite from Apple's logo, but features every other line from Apple.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Looking at the Authorized training center below it, you can become confuse that they may be an authorize training center for Apple and Adobe products.

    Confusion with trademarks can be the linchpin with the case that swings it Apple's way.
  8. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
  9. uhohzitzcooky macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2007
    The VSBT has a hump on top near the leaf, Apple's logo does not. The overall shape isn't even the same. The only thing that's similar is that there's a single leaf on top. Then again, flip through any pre-k to 2nd grade book and you'll see apples galore, most with similar design.

    Unless Apple has a trademark on apples themselves, I see no case. Then again, that's just my opinion.
  10. mr.steevo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
  11. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    For starters, MacRumors Apple is quite a bit different plus it's pretty much understood it's a 'spoof' of sorts and I believe Apple recognizes this.

    However, VSBT resembles the Apple a bit to much.

    IMO this is one of those cases where a person intentionally puts themselves in harms way to prove a point and try to entice a lawsuit.

    Kinda like finding a grocery store with a wet floor and no "Wet Floor" sign just to sue and make money. That's how I see what VSBT has done, they appear to have intentionally put themselves in the line of fire. What other reason would they have for using an Apple as a logo? Especially one resembling a big name firm? Why not use a window with 4 different colors in each pane of glass? At least that has some relevance (window of opportunity so to speak) but ohhh we'll not mimic Microsoft, instead we'll go for the cheap shot at Apple. :eek:

    Bah, I had everyone in my office vote on their poll that they agreed with Apple.
  12. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I"m no judge but I gotta side with Apple. If you look at the poll in the upper right corner of the school's page, you can clearly see why Apple's making a fuss.

    McDonald's isn't the only "M" logo out there, but if start making "M arches," you're asking for trouble.
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
  14. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Could the school profit from this? I thought they would just get their costs recovered because they didn't bring the lawsuit? I don't know, I'm proably wrong. Even if the case was the other way around, and it was apple who had infringed the schools trademark, I would have thought there wouldn't be any money involved, save to cover costs - just the company having to desist using the trademark?
  15. DigiCatRedux macrumors member


    Aug 25, 2008
    Somewhere in New England, USA.
    If VSBT were the name for an Apple Orchard out in California somewhere, or they made delicious fruit jelly - maybe they could get away with a somewhat similar apple incorporated into their logo.

    As it stands, I'd have to agree they took the Apple logo, added a bump on the top and filled-in the bite. Then they filled the whole thing in with some ugly-butt graphics.
    Seriously, is this the best they could come up with? It's like you didn't even try very hard, VSBT.

  16. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    Apples have been connected visually to the schoolhouse for quite a long time, at least in the U.S. I'm not sure about Canada, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were the same there.
  17. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    Yes its been the same in Canada and I'm sure it originates back pre-US to schools in London...considering the school uses Macs and is only a small outfit this is really quite silly. After hearing this I'm glad Paul McCartney sued Apple over their name...and again for getting into the music business. I used to think that was lame of Paul but clearly Apple does not always Think Different.

    This reminds me of the Olympics suing Olympia Pizza, a small mom & pop restaurant in Vancouver, for having the Olympic rings. I know they have to protect their "brand" but c'mon who in the world would ever hear about this pizza joint or even care...much less see their banner on some side street. It was bogus to say the least. They only cared because the winter games are there in 2010 and did a clean legal sweep of any business in Vancouver having any connection...its actually brought them bad publicity out of it.

    This thing with Apple is very subjective...their lawyers should worry about more important things like preventing Jobs from getting his Mercedes towed.
  18. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    If this were an .edu instead of a .com, I could see the result being an out-of-court settlement where the school "licensed" the use of the modified logo for a token sum. Apple's TM is protected, the school gets to keep using it, everybody's happy.

    However, as it has already been noted, this is a for-profit enterprise, specifically trading on the knowledge and training of Apple (and MS, Adobe & other) products and technologies, and therefore intentionally inferring some sort of relationship in purpose. Unless the Canadian courts are hell-bent on getting pissy with Apple, VSBT is gonna lose this in a walk.
  19. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The image of an apple has always been associated with being "studious", and an apple sitting on a teacher's desk being related to education, which "training" can be considered. So no, that's not a good reason to sue.

    The ONLY reason to sue is that there actually may be some confusion between Apple Inc., and this training program, as it relates to Mac training, and computers.

    However, if there was absolutely no risk of confusion, I'd tell Apple to piss off.
  21. jodelli macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2008
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    This is a commercially operated school prominently offering computer courses. I can see why Apple wouldn't want confusion. Think it's overkill though.
  22. tonie macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2008
    Apple just making them look bad. Suing a school? Come on!

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