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Apple Trademark Suit

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
51,565
13,187
MacWorld.co.uk reports on an Apple trademark dispute with Guangdong Apples Industrial Co, a Chines clothing company.

According to the report, the dispute traces back to a rejection from China's trademark appraisal committee for Apple's request for a trademark on its logo for a line of Apple branded clothing. The request was denied due to similarities with Guangdong's logo.

MacWorld.co.uk provides pictures of both logos.
 
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PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,240
5
hmmm those apples do look a lot alike, but they didnt fall from the same tree (sorry couldnt resist) i dont see how people could get the confused but then again you never know.........
 
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Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,920
32
Ha ha haaa!
Ridiculous. There's clearly at least a 10% difference between the two. Do you see a bite out of their apple? A separated leaf with no stem? Also, I would be interested to hear how long these guys have been around and how long they've had their logo.
 
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AmigoMac

macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2003
2,063
0
l'Allemagne
75 - 80 % the same...

Once I saw man in a swimming pool with a MS logo on his A$$ ... ;)

But this is a different case and they do look similar... Go Apple go...
 
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meta-ghost

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2002
230
0
San Francisco
word to american companies: you do not own the world!

the chinese always have great ways to set us straight,
"It looks like a three-legged horse, and so will be absolutely different from a four-legged horse. The three-legged one is very easy to tell from many horses in terms of appearance," the lawyer said.

the comittee is dead on with ""Clothing is totally different from computers," they said, observing that Apple Computer provided no evidence that it is as influential in clothing as it is in computers."
 
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Gren

macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2003
11
0
Apple

Well, they are both logos based on an Apple. So it's no surprise that they are similar!

Interesting to note that Apples apple has a bite out of it so that it won't look like a cherry.
 
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TEG

macrumors 604
Jan 21, 2002
6,577
59
Langley, Washington
The two logos only look similar if you are Drunk and Color Blind. For one Apple's is larger, different color, has the bite, has a leaf and is 3-D. The other one is 2-D, has a squigle, and is definately not a Red Delicious, like Apple's, and has a stem. The only people who would get them confused were Drunk, Mentally Handicapped, color blind children.

TEG
 
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Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,920
32
Ha ha haaa!
meta-ghost said:
the chinese always have great ways to set us straight,
"It looks like a three-legged horse, and so will be absolutely different from a four-legged horse. The three-legged one is very easy to tell from many horses in terms of appearance," the lawyer said.

By calculating the sheer mass of a horse, the difference of one leg of a horse would make about the same difference as a bite out of an apple and a separated leaf with no stem. :rolleyes:
 
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rvernout

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
57
0
Amsterdam
China's trademark law

If China would have complied with international conventions, wherein "famous" trademarks offer broad protection also outside their specific product ranges, Apple would have a good chance. However:

Trademark Law Amended to Better Protect Famous Brands

In its WTO negotiations China promised to amend those clauses of its existing Trademark Law that are not in compliance with the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Accordingly, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted the amended Trademark Law at its 24th meeting on 27 October 2001. The revised law with 45 important amendments will enter into force on 1 December this year.

....

The protection of well-known trademarks has always been a matter of concern to multinational companies. Both the Paris Convention and TRIPS have provisions for the protection of famous trademarks. China's existing Trademark Law offers no such protection, although in actual practice China does offer some protection to such trademarks in accordance with the "Interim Provisions Concerning the Recognition and Management of Well-Known Trademarks" promulgated by SAIC. The amended Law includes relevant clauses to give greater protection to well-known trademarks and to fulfill China's international obligations.

(taken from http://www.tdctrade.com/alert/cba-e0111d.htm )


Provided that the Chinese logo was registered before December 2001, the automatic extension of protection to a remote field such as clothing which should have been provided according to the Paris Convention and WTO/TRIPS will not apply to this case, and Apple may thus expect to lose.
 
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prutz11

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2001
8
0
Is this saying Apple wants to have a line of clothing? Isn't that a little weird? Does Steve have some extra shirts and jeans to get rid of? Or I wonder if they have more snowboarding jackets planned.
 
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rvernout

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
57
0
Amsterdam
VicMacs said:
you cant own a fruit logo... its just not possible... nobody invented THE apple, its just there by nature..

There is no problem with registering the trademark "Apple" or the apple logo for a specific product range, as long as the product range is not related to apples (the fruit)
 
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SilvorX

macrumors 68000
May 24, 2002
1,701
0
'Toba, Canada
I just think its stupid, It's an apple though, how common are apples? almost EVERYONE eats them, if the company made computers as well, Apple should have a hissy, but since its just a clothing company, apple should leave em alone, unless if they decide to go into the computer business
 
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allenhuffman

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2004
15
0
one-sided

It's just lawyers, folks.

When Apple was sued by Microware a few years ago over the use of "OS 9", Apple got the case thrown out because, although they were both computer operating systems with similar capabilities (both ran Java, both ran on PowerPCs, both had I/O support for 1394/Firewire and could control camcorders, etc. etc.), Apple convinced the judge that since they competed in different market areas (embedded computers versus desktops), there was no confusion.

Thus, the product Microware OS-9, existing since 1980, and Apple Mac OS 9 were not enough alike for legal action.

But Apple can go after a clothing manufacturer. It's all about money and legal teams. Apple, Microsoft, Disney, etc. will usually win because they can afford to win. With enough money, there is no grey area :)

Now, *if* this clothing company was selling their clothing through electronics or computer stores, or online in a way that targetted Apple users, then Apple might have a reason for concern. But I did not read if this was or was not the case.
 
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ryanw

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2003
307
0
I bet

I bet this chinese company copied the apple logo originally and modified it just enough to not count as a streight rip off. I mean the curves on the chinese logo are exactly the same as the apple logo. Sure the stem/leaf combo and the lack of a bite makes it over 10% or 20% different, but the curves are WAY TOO similar to not have ripped off apple in the first place.

Plus as long as apple isn't trying to get into the clothing business, should this even matter? Is this implying that apple is trying to sell clothing items with the apple logo on it?
 
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redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,626
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
TEG said:
The two logos only look similar if you are Drunk and Color Blind. For one Apple's is larger, different color, has the bite, has a leaf and is 3-D. The other one is 2-D, has a squigle, and is definately not a Red Delicious, like Apple's, and has a stem. The only people who would get them confused were Drunk, Mentally Handicapped, color blind children.

TEG

i ain't no terrorist. i usually do not hijack a topic, but i find this interesting. i never thought about what kind of apple the Apple logo is?

is it really a red delicious? i thought it was a "macintosh" ;)
 
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mrsebastian

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2002
744
0
sunny san diego
this really is stupid! i think i'm going to trademark my newly formed company called "green"[tm]. it will just be a logo comprised of the word and color "green"[tm]. it will be put on any and all products from live stock to toilet bowl cleaners. anyone selling a product with the word or color "green"[tm] will have to pay royalties, or be sued for every last dime. furthermore, mother nature and "green"[tm] have reached an agreement for a "group" settlement and so the earth will be trademarked. also, those individuals with "green"[tm] eyes will have to remit $5 per year, per eye, for the use of their eyes...

give me a [bleeping] break! while you're at it, steve might as well start a small apple farm and begin suing the other farmers for trademark infringement. i love apple and my macs, which i couldn't live without, but come on this is complete [bleep]!
 
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rvernout

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
57
0
Amsterdam
ryanw said:
Plus as long as apple isn't trying to get into the clothing business, should this even matter? Is this implying that apple is trying to sell clothing items with the apple logo on it?

The issue at stake, and the reasoning behind the trademark laws, is the question whether the public could be confused as to the origin of the products labeled with the apple logo. If the national law provides for protection of a well known trademark in a remote product range and Apple could convince the judges that there would be any chance that a certain percentage of the public might think that the clothes are related to Apple Inc., they would have a case. The usual way to prove this is by providing results of a proper public poll held by an independent market research firm, wherein the public are shown the wares of the sued company and are asked with which company they associate the wares.
 
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redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,626
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
i think Apple should not waste money on something, that is not relevant. i can think of a lot of relevant stuff. a relevant Apple hardware would be, for example, the g5 powerbook.
 
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redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,626
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
rvernout said:
The issue at stake, and the reasoning behind the trademark laws, is the question whether the public could be confused as to the origin of the products labeled with the apple logo. If the national law provides for protection of a well known trademark in a remote product range and Apple could convince the judges that there would be any chance that a certain percentage of the public might think that the clothes are related to Apple Inc., they would have a case. The usual way to prove this is by providing results of a proper public poll held by an independent market research firm, wherein the public are shown the wares of the sued company and are asked with which company they associate the wares.

i tend to agree with this stand point. especially with the popularity of the iPod...
 
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ALoLA

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2003
186
0
Greater Los Angeles Area
I've seen plenty of knock-offs of American branded clothing in China/Hong Kong. This might just be another case of an American company attempting to protect it's logo. Besides, Apple tried to file a trademark on its on logo earlier but it was rejected by China. So, if this company came along after that, and then for them to protect them against Apple is BS. Granted, the two Apple are not that similar, at least to me. But who knows, there are plenty of pretty ignorant people out there. Just look at all of those Windows users. :D
 
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