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The Courts Apple Idle

Apple Threatens Bistro Over "AppleADay" Name 301

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-our-name-out-of-your-mouth dept.
itwbennett writes "In today's edition of David v. Goliath, Apple lawyers have sent cease and desist letters to a tiny health food restaurant in Luxembourg named AppleADay. For their part, the owners of AppleADay, with help from a lawerly friend, have promised that they would continue to sell only food, not computers. Of course, Apple knows as well as anyone that promises are made to be broken, having famously promised Apple Corps, the Beatles' production company, they would never get into the music business."
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Apple Threatens Bistro Over "AppleADay" Name

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  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:32PM (#37940724) Homepage
    ...to iAppleADay
  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:32PM (#37940728)
    I mean, NOBODY is going to confuse them for the Apple Store. This is just petty.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Better watch out, I hear your local grocery store has hundreds if not thousands of violators out back...

    • by adamchou (993073)
      This is what happens when overpaid patent lawyers sit around and have nothing to do. They're acting busy by going out and sending out C&D orders to random people.
      • by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:38PM (#37940786)

        Trademark lawyer, not patent lawyer.

      • by bonch (38532) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:45PM (#37940890)

        This is a trademark issue, not a patent issue. Trademark owners have to defend it or risk losing it.

        That, of course, won't stop the Slashdotters from freaking out over nothing. Notice the article was submitted by the ITWorld author who wrote it. He knew exactly what he was doing and how this readership would react. It's all about page views. This story isn't even new; it dates back to late August.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          This is a trademark issue, not a patent issue. Trademark owners have to defend it or risk losing it.

          That, of course, won't stop the Slashdotters from freaking out over nothing. Notice the article was submitted by the ITWorld author who wrote it. He knew exactly what he was doing and how this readership would react. It's all about page views. This story isn't even new; it dates back to late August.

          Name and logo, have you looked, are not very close.

          This is a very big stretch of "confusion" concern.

        • by wmbetts (1306001)

          Wouldn't you only have to defend it in the same industry the trademark is registered in? Unless Apple has a registered trademark in the food service industry (or whatever it's classified as) I can't see how the would risk loosing their trademark. By this logic they need to sue AppleBees as well.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by mcneely.mike (927221)
            They need to sue each and every individual apple in the world, and the apple trees too, and get a promise from said apple trees that they will no longer grow said apples, or even miniature apples, from now on to be called Apps(tm).
          • by jo_ham (604554)

            It depends on how the other business files their trademark. Yes, it's obvious they are not a computer maker, but if they file for their trademark to cover all trade areas then that's when Apple can say "wait, you'll infringe if you are in the computer area".

            The same thing happened a couple of years ago with Woolworth Australia I think, or someone like that, as a grocery store with an apple for a logo who filed a broad trademark covering many business areas.

            There's nothing to stop you starting a restaurant c

        • freaking out over nothing

          So nothing happened? And the fact that they have to try to appear to be defending their trademarks by law doesn't mean that people have to agree with that law (or their actions). You just end up with things like this that a lot of people don't seem to agree with.

        • This is a trademark issue, not a patent issue. Trademark owners have to defend it or risk losing it.

          Total BS.

          If you have a trademark over "Apple" in the context of computers/music, you DO NOT have to sue a restaurant with the word "Apple" somewhere in its name to protect it.

        • by F.Ultra (1673484)
          They only risk loosing it if they don't defend the trademark when there is something that looks like a violation, it doesn't mean that one has to chase down everyone using Apple in the name. This is just silly.
    • by msobkow (48369)

      New York better watch out for an infringement lawsuit, too. :p

    • by erroneus (253617)

      I know... and you're not going to hear too many apple fans backing this action up either. I happen to know the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" (the saying this shops derives its name) predates the birth of both of Apple's original creators... possibly by more than 100 years. The lawyers who signed their names to any papers associated with this frivolous and aggressive C&D need to have their credentials reviewed.

      I think it is more than reasonable to presume that somewhere along the line,

    • by mvar (1386987)
      I hope the owners of the restaurant stand their ground and take the case to the courts. nevertheless this case is a pretty good advertisement for their business
      • The story is 6 months old [lesoir.be] and there have been no updates from Appleaday since though there's been plenty of news stories about it. A good advertisement you say, hmmm.

    • by haruchai (17472) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:40PM (#37940814)
      Just because Steve Jobs is dead doesn't mean Apple is all out of assholes.
    • by gerddie (173963)
      Some judge probably will. Remember Obelix versus MobiliX [tuxmobil.org]?
    • Johnny Appleseed better get his ass overseas pronto...
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      There is an actual store named "The Apple Store" in a city with an Apple "Apple Store". It sells apples, and has for a quarter of a century. I have heard about people using google maps bringing their macs to "The Apple Store" for genius help and being politely redirected to the Apple "Apple Store".
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      This is just what Apple fans are empowering with their blind religious support of the company that can do no wrong, even when it does. I just don't understand why America is obsessed with giving so much money to this Chinese company.
  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:33PM (#37940738)
    Apple sues Mother Nature for making a fruit with the same name.
    • I'm putting my money on Apple, Mother Nature's screwed. No more apples for us :(
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        I'm putting my money on Apple, Mother Nature's screwed. No more apples for us :(

        Mother Nature is, if nothing else, tenacious. She'll simply rename Poo as Apples and Apples as Poo.

        "How ya like your new iPood?"

      • by jd (1658)

        Mother Nature has this one covered. They're to be called the non-citrtussy-roundish-things-that-are-great-at-keeping-doctors-away, N-CRT-TAGA-KDA for short, and will be sold by The Pirate Party for a small fee.

      • We could rename them to "liberty pears"...
    • by cpghost (719344)
      Next in line: Oracle sues Mother Nature for making a star named Sun.
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Next in line: Oracle sues Mother Nature for making a star named Sun.

        Larry Ellison is rumored to be working on a time machine, so he can go back to Delphi, about 2,800 years ago, to sue Apollo for speaking through an unauthorised Oracle (without a licence, no less!)

        Apollo is rumored to have been preparing a strong defence, including a handful of lightning bolts, and his own attorneys, those failing.

  • by glowimperial (705397) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:34PM (#37940754) Homepage
    Because if not, it should be.
  • Apple lawyers contact a farmer in Texas about his infringement for having "Apples" on his inventory when they have exclusive distribution rights.

    In related news, Apple contacted the Indian government about possible product dilution of their Siri software. Although even Apple had to admit that a Sari wasn't exactly the same pronounciation, they requested that the garment be renamed to something that wouldn't be so close to stave off any possible trouble down the line.

    Thanks for watching, enjoy the movie...

    • by jd (1658)

      I'd suggest you put that on ICHC with Chemistry Cat reading it as a news bulletin, but I might get sued by The Onion for patent infringement on Over-Satirizing the point.

  • Maybe they're just pissed that someone is referring to the reliability and longevity of their PowerPC and Performa lines from back in the day...

    At least they didn't name the restaurant "Road Apples [lowendmac.com]"...

  • They have to (Score:5, Informative)

    by bonch (38532) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:38PM (#37940782)

    First, this story is months old and dates back to late August. Second, contrary to the headline, they're not threatening over the "AppleADay" name but the logo [macgeneration.com].

    Third, as is pointed out every time an incident like this occurs, trademark owners have to take no chances and must enforce perceived violations or risk losing their right to it. There is always the risk that a court somewhere in the world might cite the lack of action in some particular case. But, since it's a "David v. Goliath" article, as the summary put it, it's an excellent story to submit to Slashdot and rile up the natives.

    • Re:They have to (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zancarius (414244) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:43PM (#37940870) Homepage Journal

      To my untrained eye, I have a hard time seeing how they could sue over the logo. It looks nothing like the Apple Computer, Inc. logo! I realize your intentions were to attempt to absolve Apple of wrongdoing, but I think that link has succeeded in helping me decide that this suit is/was even more petty than I gleaned from TFA.

      Yes, there's the issue of trademark dilution, but I think this is far beyond ridiculous.

    • no one REASONABLE would think that's an apple computer co logo.

      sorry, but this does not fit reasonable defense definition.

      suing over that logo is a joke, in itself.

      my boycott of apple still stands. stuff like this only causes me to dig in even further.

    • Re:They have to (Score:5, Insightful)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:48PM (#37940944)
      Second, contrary to the headline, they're not threatening over the "AppleADay" name but the logo

      It looks like...a drawing of an apple. Hard to depict an apple without it looking like an apple.
      But there are significant differences. Hollow, 2 leaves on top, no bite out of the right side, different color.
    • Third, as is pointed out every time an incident like this occurs, trademark owners have to take no chances and must enforce perceived violations or risk losing their right to it.

      So where's the lawsuit against Applebee's [yourlogoresources.com] since that apple looks a lot more like Apple (Inc.)'s logo [wikimedia.org] than AppleADay's logo?

      • by _xeno_ (155264)

        So where's the lawsuit against Applebee's [yourlogoresources.com] since that apple looks a lot more like Apple (Inc.)'s logo [wikimedia.org] than AppleADay's logo?

        This. I was fastforwarding through commercials on my DVR the other day, and I thought I saw an add containing a burning Apple logo.

        It was the Applebee's logo.

        So, where's the lawsuit against Applebee's, Apple? If you just glance at them, they really do look identical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by neo00 (1667377)
      Applebee's [applebees.com] logo is an apple, too. Their name contains an "apple". And they sell food just like AppleADay. Under the same logic, they have to threaten Applebee's too?!
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        What would be funny is for some lawyer looking for kicks to patition for Apple to lose their trademark. The logic being that Apple know about Applebee's logo, and since they consider the AppleADay logo to be close enough to require they defend it, then clearly Applebee's logo would require defense also since it is closer to Apple's logo than AppleADay's is.

        Thus, Apple has clearly abandoned their trademark as they are not defending it against a know usage.
        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Apple need to defend their trademark *in the relevant area*.

          One assumes that they are aware of AppleBees, and that AppleBees' trademarks are only in the food service sector.

          If the trademark applied for in the case of this new place, way back in the mists of time (this story is ancient, and has been posted with a troll summary for page hits and ad revenue) was too broad (ie, that it covered several areas, including computers/IT without it needing to) then Apple are obligated to defend their own trademark or

          • by Bucky24 (1943328)

            it sure makes for a juicy snack for the rabid, frothing neckbeards while they wait for their moms to microwave some more Hot Pockets

            Some of us can't manage to grow neckbeards :(

    • Third, as is pointed out every time an incident like this occurs, trademark owners have to take no chances and must enforce perceived violations or risk losing their right to it.

      You are right about this, but surely they'd be exempt from this just on the grounds that this a restaurant.

  • When you register a trademark, you have to select which class(es) of service the goods or services your company sells should cover. This seems to imply to me that a trademark only covers those classes of service, so unless Apple Inc registered their trademark for selling actual fruit, I don't understand how this works under the law. Why even have classes of service if company's are going to claim trademark infringement willy nilly on any classes of service, even ones they don't offer?

  • I'm a bit confused, I thought trademark law were pretty cut and dry when it came to names. That as long as the products or businesses are in different markets, there can not be a case.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Depends how broad the trademark filing is - if it was thrown out like a blanket, and happens to cover the areas where Apple already has a trademark, they are going to have to defend their own against it.

      They don;t have a trademark in the food sector.

      This happened with another store a few years ago with an apple for a logo, who applied for a blanket trademark across all areas, requiring Apple to defend their trademark in the computing sector.

  • Maybe someone should advise Apple that being seen as a bully is not very fashionable.

  • You never know, that small business in Luxemburg just might transform itself to the largest corporation in the world. I think Apple is just hedging it bets on this one.

    • That's as silly an idea as a wood products company turning into one of the world's largest sellers of mobile phones (until recently, that is).
  • so why has apple not sued apple orchards and picking places as well?

  • Slow newsday ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:47PM (#37940926)

    Orignal story dates from the 5th of may [lesoir.be] (6 month old stories now Slashdot, really ?) There was a flurry of news reporting and no updates since then, not even on their Facebook page [facebook.com] where the restaurant gleefully displayed its new found notoriety. So I'm guessing it turned out to be very much a non-story played up for advertising value.

  • ...but if there's any truth to the argument, here must be some reason--perhaps something to do with local laws in Luxembourg--that is motivating Apple to do this. A simple search on Google shows that there are dozens of businesses even here in the states named "Apple A Day [something]", and unless Apple is planning on suing them, this random lawsuit makes little enough sense that there must be something that we're not aware of.

    It's happened before, though. Some time back, I remember reading an article
  • I thought Jobs "thought different" and Apple should be worshiped!
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I thought Jobs "thought different" and Apple should be worshiped!

      Apple, Inc. (formerly Apple Computer) is not thinking much different from most idiotic practices of idiotic companies.

      I expect, as the article doesn't delve into anything much presently going on, from the Apple, Inc., end there may have been a "whoa, there, pard!" issued from Cupertino to the feisty lawyers. Crush a hapless little bistro and you may find riots in front of Apple Stores across Europe - not the kind of "ooo, shiny!" they're going for.

  • Apple's arrogance knows no bounds. They begin to think that they own everything apple. How long before you need a license from them to have an apple tree in your back yard? Especially McIntosh apples?
  • It appears to me that this whole thing is just another attempt to get you all riled up about big bad Goliath...

    TFA is incredibly weak, lacking any sort of details...

    Consider that the restaurant may have been using a different logo earlier?

  • I just sent this story to someone and got this reply:

    They are piece of shit assholes

    Sent from my iPhone

  • by mypalmike (454265) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @07:32PM (#37942092) Homepage

    The submitter, who works for itworld, sent a link to slashdot with an itworld article that has no source material nor citations of where the story was sourced. The only actual journalism that anyone has done on this appears to come from:

    http://www.wort.lu/wort/web/en/luxembourg/articles/2011/05/149560/index.php [www.wort.lu]

    This is the link that should have been posted. Seriously, it took me less than a minute to vet this.

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