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Apple, New York City In Legal Dispute Over Logo 254

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-our-wacky-trademark-system dept.
Lemmy Caution writes "Apple, Inc. has filed a suit to prevent New York City's non-profit 'GreeNYC' initiative from using a logo that incorporates an apple in its design. Commentators have noted the substantial differences between the two designs, not to mention the irony of this sort of infringement claim. The city of New York has filed to have the claim rejected, and even possibly the cancellation of Apple's logo in light of the long history of the nickname 'The Big Apple' to describe the city."
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Apple, New York City In Legal Dispute Over Logo

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  • by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @06:51PM (#22975656)
    Or... fix [mozilla.org] your [apple.com] browser [opera.com].
  • by k2enemy (555744) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @06:51PM (#22975658)
    I think you may have misunderstood the parent. Of course Apple's claim is ridiculous, but with the current state of intellectual property law, Apple has a possibility of winning. This by itself would be BAD, but it may prompt politicians to do something about reforming IP law.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:00PM (#22975694)
    I've seen this on several blogs by now (Slashdot seems a bit slow today), and mostly the usual comments. Lots of people commenting on Apple Records having an Apple logo (not knowing that Apple Inc. paid probably an eight digit sum for all Apple Corps trademarks). But a few graphics artists compared the shapes of the logos - and they are identical. That New York logo has exactly the very distinctive and recognisable shape of the Apple logo. And it seems that the designers also got a bit of inspiration from Apple's headquarters address and put an infinity symbol into their logo.

    There are millions of ways to draw an apple shape. There is no reason to copy the shape of Apple's logo.
  • by omega_dk (1090143) <alpha.dkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:22PM (#22975804)
    Well, that might be true... if there were a lawsuit involved at all. [engadget.com]

    Hey /.! How about posting about 'filing suit' when it actually happens, and not when someone lacks basic reading comprehension? Not even in TFA does it mention a legal dispute; it says it filed a challenge to NYC's trademark application.

    I believe this article needs to be tagged 'adaylateandadollarshort'
  • The apple logo is a solid apple with a bite out of its side, in a variety of color schemes (rainbow (original), red (early variant), black (on white paper), white (current logo), and blue (in the OS X title bar)). It has no stem. The leaf extends to the left. The bottom is rounded, and it is noticably "chubbier" than the NYC logo.

    The NYC logo is an outline of an apple, with no bite, and with the outline extended into a stylized infinity or possibly a "yin/yang" symbol, in green or white, with a stem and the leaf extending to the left. The bottom is a sharp indent, and the shape is slimmer than the Apple logo.

    The "stem" is a distinctive difference, it has never appeared in any Apple logo, and it has appeared in other NYC-related "big apple" artwork (for example the "Big Apple" sculptures that decorated NYC in 2004).

    Different colors, different shape, consistent with previous NYC "big Apple" icons and logos. The only difference is that the apple is more rounded and less "pear shaped", which is most likely simply due to the need to accommodate the yin/yang/infinity symbol.
  • by maskedbishounen (772174) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:49PM (#22976022)
    Mainly when the border is showing, the rounded corners aren't where they should be.

    Here's a screenshot [imageshack.us] comparing Opera 9.26's correct behavior with Firefox 3b5's.
  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @11:02PM (#22977124) Homepage
    As the original submitter, I used the word "suit" when I should have used the word "claim." Otherwise, however, I think you incorrectly minimalize the effectively litigious and serious nature of a trademark opposition: [houstoninternetlaw.com]

    The owner of the pending application is given a copy of the claim, termed a âoenotice of oppositionâ. The applicant is given thirty days to file an answer, If no answer is filed, the application is dismissed. Therefore receipt of an opposition notice must be taken seriously.

    The opposition procedure is similar to civil litigation. There is first a discovery period. The time period for discovery is set by the TTAB. The deadlines may be extended on written request. The discovery comprises depositions, interrogatories, production of records, and request for admissions. These are the typical tools used in civil litigation.

      The TTAB has specific rules governing the conduct of an opposition, including the discovery phase. Similar to civil litigation, motions can be filed addressing alleged failure of one party or the other to comply with the TTAB rules of procedure.

      What is unlike civil litigation, is the use of testimonial depositions, which are separate from discovery depositions. The TTAB does not conduct open or oral hearings. All matters are resolved by written record.

    It is somewhat misleading to think this is just a casual "business as usual" action on the part of Apple. It is as serious as a regular lawsuit, will involve similar legal mobilizations, and ultimately will determine whether or not GreeNYC can trademark (and use) their logo.
  • by DECS (891519) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:34AM (#22977572) Homepage Journal
    I agree that there isn't a confusion between the two entities; however, the issue isn't Apple suing to stop NYC from using the idea of an apple. It's a simple one of Apple legal filing to contest a logo that has more than a little similarity to its own. It's not close to being exactly the same, but if Apple hadn't taken any action, it would not have much to stand on when a third party in the PC/MP3/smartphone/software business began using something just as similar.

    Apple Corps sued Apple over its name in 1978, and the case was settled in 1981 with Apple paying $80,000 and agreeing to stay out of the music business.

    In 1989, Apple Corps sued again over the Mac's ability to play back MIDI and the Apple IIGS, which incorporated an Ensoniq sound chip. Apple Corps had an electronics business that failed in 1968. Apple settled again, paying $26.5 million.

    When Apple introduced the iPod and iTunes, Apple Corps sued again, but the group lost its case against Apple. The two came to an agreement that gave Apple the rights to the name, the freedom to run its business, and gave Apple Corps the freedom to use the Apple name as well through a licensing agreement from Apple. The amount Apple Corps got was not published.

    All these frothing Apple critics that say the company persecuted the Beetles are uninformed.

    The Unavoidable Malware Myth: Why Apple Won't Inherit Microsoft's Malware Crown [roughlydrafted.com]

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