Italian Clothing Company Wins the Right to Use Steve Jobs' Name

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Raist3001 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2012
    Right behind you
    Claiming something is wrong because you think its wrong, versus commenting on the legality of the situation are entirely different things. Thanks for adding to the humorous side of this discussion.
  2. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    So lemme get this straight....

    They checked all applicable laws. Didn’t break them. Then went to court and was found to be operating with the laws.

    .... and everyone here is mad??? Why?
  3. Sevendaymelee macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2016
    Nothing but creatively void, sick little parasites.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2017 ---
    Because people don't like other people getting rich off of other peoples success. Without Steve Jobs, no one even knows who these hacks are. It's really that simple.
  4. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    They own the company.
  5. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    These guys are jerks. Sounds like they are going to do whatever it takes just get Apple to pay millions for the name and logo so they go away. Smart but jerk move.
  6. Zenithal macrumors 603

    Sep 10, 2009
    If you're in your late 30s and onward and still dress like you're 20, you're a schmuck. I'm not a fan of Steve Jobs nor do I like seeing people treat him as a god, but this is in absolute poor taste.
  7. eoblaed macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
  8. QueSea macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2017

    First, Apple already lost their opposition to the use of just the name "Steve Jobs" as a trademark - in 2014 their opposition was rejected in its entirety by the European Union, as Apple had no legal grounds on which to claim either infringement or ownership of an existing mark. Apple's further legal action was against the "sign" (i.e., the logo), where they did have some grounds for a claim of infringement of their own signs.

    Second, you can't "renew" someone else's trademark. Trademark rights are based on use in commerce. They don't legally have to be registered (in the US at least), so using someone else's trademark is infringement, whether registered or unregistered. Next, just because a mark is shown as Abandoned in the USPTO doesn't mean the mark is not still in use by the registrant, or that you can use it at all. And finally, in order to trademark even a famous person's name, it's not enough for that person simply to be associated with a particular company, no matter how well known. For trademark protectoin, the person's name has to be specifically associated with a set of goods or services. Since Apple has never sold goods or services under the "Steve Jobs" name, and has no plans to do so, Apple had no rights to that mark to protect, i.e., no use of the mark in commerce that would qualify for registration.

    Third, Apple can't claim priority or exclusivity with regard to "Steve Jobs".

    "Priority" would require they were the first to use the "Steve Jobs" trademark in commerce, prior to whatever date in 2012 the Italian company began using it. But Apple wasn't first, and as noted also has never used "Steve Jobs" as a mark in commerce, so they can never claim priority.

    By "exclusivity" I assume you mean acquired distinctiveness or secondary meaning. As noted above, celebrity and/or association with a well-known company alone are not enough to claim protection or trademark rights for a person's name - and the "Steve Jobs" name was never associated with specific goods or services from Apple. But if you do mean "exclusivity", keep in mind Jobs was not exclusively associated with Apple, as he also founded NeXT, not to mention that a large part of his fame came from being fired by Apple, i.e., not associated with them. The only entity that could claim exclusivity to the name would be Steve Jobs himself, if he were still alive. "Steve Jobs" was never proposed as an Apple brand or product name even when Jobs was in charge, and Jobs did not sign over the rights to commercial use of his name to Apple or anyone else, either pre- or post-humously. While most people would associate him with Apple, that doesn't mean that his name acquired the secondary meaning of an actual "mark" that Apple can claim protection for.

    The names of dead, historical figures and celebrities have often been used by total strangers for companies and products. And while it's often the case that a commercial enterprise named after a famous person was founded by that person, it's not universal. Likewise, though it's more customary to wait until the person has been dead longer than a year, it doesn't seem to be a legal requirement. If you don't take steps to use your name in commerce while you're still alive, it's pretty much up for grabs after you're gone. For example, look up the famous cases surrounding the use of Bob Marley's and Babe Ruth's names, and you'll see there is plenty of precedent that pretty much leaves Apple without any grounds for opposing the Italian "Steve Jobs" trademark.

    Frankly, I think the Italian company is silly, and is unlikely to survive. And that legally they really should have lost on the logo opposition, as their logo is a pretty blatant ripoff.

    But Apple absolutely can not "renew" the abandoned US registration, nor can they claim some non-existent "priority exclusivity".
  9. bmot macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2016
  10. omihek macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2014
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Now companies have to worry about copyrighting the names of their top executives that are in the public light? That's not cool.
  11. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    The third coming of Steve Jobs back to Apple?
    2nd being in late 1996.
  12. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    Call them what you will.

    Fact is, two douchebags thought of something that a nearly $1,000,000,000,000 company SHOULD have and succeeded in a court battle against them.

    Funny thing is, anyone here could’ve trademark registered Jobs’ name.
  13. UL2RA Suspended

    May 7, 2017
    Being the person that tells everyone they're being armchair lawyers while disregarding the blatancy of the situation is just wonderful. Keep it up.
  14. MacBergin macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2015
    The brothers seem to have mastered the art of crossing a patent troll and a Chinese knockoff.
  15. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    But, to be honest, some of the great products that Apple is famous for are just better thought out ripoffs. I don't think Apple was all that great at original thinking, but they could definitely put the human being as the entity the product was designed for. Case in point: MP3 players existed before the iPod. Apple just made them far more intuitive and easier to use, and built a way to capitalize (surprise, they ARE a corporation) and support the market.

    I think the iPod caught a lot of the other companies off stride. So many of the pre-iPod devices were ghastly, and way over complicated, and depressingly under engineered, and down right user abusive to operate.

    And the iPhone. In the beginning, it WAS revolutionary. They hobbled it with the exclusivity agreement with the weakest and most customer abusive carrier, but the iPhone shook the industry. The same with the iPad.

    But I ramble...

    Ms. Jobs has a case to push the issue and get her husband's name back. The idea that just because no one trademarked it up to that point probably stems more from the idea of 'what a--hole would steal his name' more than the belief that they had to pounce on the rights immediately. If this stands, then ANYONE even remotely famous will have to immediately secure the rights to their name, which is RIDICULOUS!!! That, to me, in simplistic terms, is like having to 'own' your face. Your fingerprints. Your voice.

    At some point, humans are going to be legal sushi, and the only ones that win are the damn lawyers. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  16. fab.zed macrumors newbie


    Nov 15, 2017
    There’s a difference in having a famous name for your brand and having a good brand name.

    But my guess is they are purely speculating on apple to buy the name back. Clearly the „fashion“ is nothing more than a cheap cover for this hostage situation. Please don’t ever give them any money... ever
  17. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Clearly their end goal here is to be bought out by Apple.
  18. splogue macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    RTP, NC
    This entire thing is downright creepy and is a blatant attempt to defraud customers into thinking there is a connection that does not exist.

    I would hope his estate would sue, but Apple already tried that and failed, so I don't see how that would be effective.

    Hopefully, these guys will quickly fade into obscurity.
  19. shartypants macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2010
  20. TrentS macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2011
    Overland Park, Kansas
    Somebody should buy the rights to the name of the Italian judge that oversaw this case. Then slap his name on a new product of pooper scoopers. Maybe the mechanism of these scoopers would have the likeliness of the judges head and mouth seemingly "eating" the dung as it picks it up.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 29, 2017 ---
    Sorry guys. I beat you to it! I just claimed the rights to Warren Buffet's, Donald trump's and Bill Gate's names!

    :p :p :p :p
  21. AmazingRobie macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Lest everyone forget...Jobs essentially stole the "Apple" moniker from the Beatles' Apple Records and renigged on the promise to never sell music under the name, but I agree, these two not only have poor fashion sense, that logo looks like a steamy pile. They're just a couple of opportunists and i look forward to seeing whose house they end up burning down with their "innovative electronics devices". Hahahaha. Clowns.
  22. springsup macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2013
    Yeah but that's exactly my point - it's easy to have abstract ideas; just read a SciFi book. It's a lot harder to work out the non-obvious details of how this device should look and feel and how it should operate and be operated. There's nothing obvious about the click-wheel, for instance, but it was such a cool, analogue interface paradigm. I think it was extremely original, and it fit the iPod so perfectly; I'm convinced that it's a big reason it was so successful.

    I'm not saying Jobs was personally responsible for every great decision, but he was clearly very opinionated and involved (see:, and clearly didn't just dismiss ideas that were radically different because the "market wouldn't accept it" or other business-people BS. It takes balls to release something like the iPod when all your competitors looked and worked so differently. They basically bet-the-company on the iPhone. It could have flopped; maybe people wouldn't pay that much for a phone, or they wouldn't get used to the on-screen keyboards or something.

    You need to really understand the product and the customers in order to have the conviction to do those things. Most companies are run by networkers; smiley-faced idiots who look the part and can chit-chat with investors. They are basically sales/marketing people. They will never have the conviction to make such bold and original products.

    Steve Jobs had some words on this as well. If your company doesn't have the conviction to do new things with their products, they can only get better by improved sales/marketing, so that's who ends up running the company. Look at Microsoft - when Bill Gates retired, who took over? Steve Ballmer, the sales guy. Sales tripled, profits doubled, but they totally missed the revolution in cloud computing, ceding that space to the likes of Google and Amazon. They actually managed to fix it, which they don't get enough credit for, by replacing Ballmer with Satya Nadella, the former head of the cloud computing group. These days they are much more respected than they were under Ballmer, and much better-positioned for the future.
  23. machumors90 macrumors member


    Oct 24, 2017
    The logo is horrible, the clothes they're wearing are atrocious, and the company name makes no reference to the "products" they think they're going to sell.
  24. bdkennedy1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2002
    Steve Jobs never made an official clothing line so his name is not trademarksble in that industry. That said, I hope your clothing line flushes down the toilet.
  25. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    This is seriously idiotic and disengenious. It’s incredibly clear what these brothers are trying to do by using the Steve Jobs name and a logo that resembles Apple’s. It’s the intent that matters.

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