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Apple Takes Action Over Australian Logos 425

sams67 writes "Australian supermarket Woolworth is on the receiving end of an action from Apple over Woolworth's new logo. The green, highly stylized 'W' logo could at best be described as 'apple-like.' As outlined in the article, Apple is taking similar action in Australia against music festival promoter, Poison Apple, and pay TV provider Foxtel, over their fruit-related logos."
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Apple Takes Action Over Australian Logos

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  • IMHO (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:58AM (#29641145)

    I'd love to see New York City sue Apple over the rights to using an Apple as a logo. And then force Apple to come up with a new logo.

    WTF, I like my iPhone, and I enjoyed using OS X at my last job, enough that I considered buying a Mac. But man, Apple is such a prick. I think I am going to leave Apple products unless they change their policies.

    I'll put it this way. The #1 thing improving Microsoft's image with me is Apple. Yes, that's right. Microsoft is starting to seem darn friendly when standing next to the pretentious prick that Apple has become. (And Apple were always pretentious pricks, now they've just push themselves to a much higher

  • what's next? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2009 @02:04AM (#29641179)

    is Apple going to start suing apple trees for infringement too?

  • by distantbody ( 852269 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @02:41AM (#29641361) Journal
    I think that having an apple peel as a logo isn't all that great: do they sell food scraps?. Further shaping the apple peel as an apple is a bit absurd, and it could be an intentional subconscious reference to Apple Inc.. I don't like the logo because those three points.

    IMO the logo is in a grey area -- it has similarities and differences. I wouldn't mistake one logo for another and I don't think a reasonable person would.

    Ultimately I think that an apple is commonplace and no-one should be able to register it as a trademark. However if the apple is differentiated then that's ok: Apple Inc. has a grey glossy apple with a bite in it: that's unique. The Woolworths apple is a a green apple peel: that's unique, and not in the same way as the first. As long as in a split second glimpse a reasonable person isn't able to confuse one unique apple trademark with another then they should be able to co-exist.
  • by lewko ( 195646 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @03:04AM (#29641483) Homepage

    Thus far, this thread is full of little more than repressed anti-Apple feelings being vented with zero analysis of either the logos or the issue at hand. You know, "facts".

    As an Australian, I can say that Woolworths has been (allegedly, cough) involved in anti-competitive practices for years in the grocery, and now petrol markets. As one of the two (and effectively only) major supermarket chains in this country their activities and pricing has stifled competition and cost consumers' back pockets plenty. This is not your typical David vs Goliath situation.

    So before everybody rushes to their defence, and makes Apple out to be a big corporate bully, it would be worth looking at the behaviour on both sides.

  • Re:L.C.D (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday October 05, 2009 @03:38AM (#29641665)

    Your missing my point and throwing out hyperbole in your post like it is candy.

    There is trademark law, and what is reasonable. Reasonable does not have to be correct. Although you and I agree that we should not have to cater to the lowest common denominator, trademark law seems to do just that.

    Trademark law, just like slander and libel laws, takes into account what the average person would perceive, and what they might conclude. Your argument bringing racist hiring practices into the discussion is pointless. They don't have anything to do with each other.

    Yes, unfortunately, in trademark law you *must* consider the unsophisticated. When it comes down to it, a jury may decide solely based on whether or not they were confused about the logos.

    You want to keep arguing about the "should", while I have only argued about possible interpretations of existing trademark law. As long as you want to do that, well there are any number of things I find wrong, illogical, immoral, etc. about laws and government. Where should we start?

  • by Canazza ( 1428553 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @03:56AM (#29641751)

    not even a moron in a hurry [wikipedia.org] would confuse the two

  • Apple is ass (Score:4, Interesting)

    by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @04:42AM (#29641981) Journal

    And yet the Woolworths apple logo looks absolutely nothing like the Apple Computer logo. Nice.

    In other news Apple files against every company on the planet for daring to use a logo.

    Seriously every time I turn around Apple is doing something nasty and trying to shit on EVERYONE from their own customers to a supermarket chain. I mean Woolworths sucks for other reasons but they don't deserve this. What the fuck exactly is it going to take to see that Apple has lost the plot and does not deserve our support? I mean seriously, do they have to invade Poland? Start WWIII? What exactly?

    What's the bet this gets modded up then gradually gets modded down as Apple fanboi losers come back days later when no one is reading it and mod down. Has happened without fail to any post where I've criticised Apple lately.

  • Re:L.C.D (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted&slashdot,org> on Monday October 05, 2009 @04:59AM (#29642051)

    And we all strongly and specifically worked very very hard, to create, foster and support the lowest common denominator. Who would have died out in a healthy ecosystem.

    It has nothing to do with it, and is very unfair to everyone who achieved something in his life, but we call it "being social" anyway.

    So all in all, we wanted it, we got it, and now we deserve it.

  • by underqualified ( 1318035 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @05:10AM (#29642107)
    it reminds me more of the W in the disney logo. maybe disney should sue too.
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @05:55AM (#29642267) Homepage Journal

    Dunno, I'm no Apple fan, but they look alike to me. Uncanny valley alike. Sure one is green and the other one is silver, but pretty much you could put one over the other and get almost the same outer edge, minus the bite on Apple's logo.

    IMHO you could give two graphic designers independent tasks to design apple derived logos and get designs as different as these. The outlines are not the same beyond representing apples. The aspect ratio is different. The woolworths logo is much more abstract.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @06:22AM (#29642395)

    From what I read on another site, Apple are concerned that Woolworths is filing for a broad trademark across multiple markets and may use the logo (or a derivative of it) on products or services closer to those made by Apple in the future.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @06:27AM (#29642421) Homepage

    This is lawyers being lawyers, some executive somewhere at apple in the marketing department is trying to justify their inflated salary. Then it is off to lawyers to see if it is worth challenging and, of course the answer is yes, no money for the lawyers otherwise.

    The logo, apart from looking pretty bad, is really generic, so apple, tomato, pumpkin, peach, apricot, nectarine in fact in round fruit/vegetable that has stem near it leaf and, to be honest I wouldn't have seen any fruit at all if not for the apple lawsuit, it just looks like the typical child's big 'W' from some primary school project, honestly I think they good have managed much better than that.

  • by samson13 ( 1311981 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @07:11AM (#29642625)

    Apple computers had their logo first so I don't think they would be trying to grab marketing value from Woolworths. If you mean woolies was trying to take marketing off Apple then I don't think that would work. Woolworths is much more "famous" than Apple in their marketing area.

    Woolies haven't really had a logo previously. They've been trying to consolidate their image over the last while (i.e. I believed they've ditched the safeway branding). Their jingle is "The fresh food people" so a logo that looks like an apple, mellon, pumpkin or something matches there existing marketing. They also have the "Big W" brand so this is probably a move to consolidate them as well.

    If apple wanted a strong logo that was defendable outside the area where it was registered (computing) then they should have picked something a but more unique. Apple logos are and have been used as part of fruit, education (give your teacher an apple) and health (an apple a day keeps the doctor away) markets for longer than apple computers have been around. I don't think the Apple logo is distinctive enough to survive registration as a generic logo where as a green stylised W that give the feeling of fruit or vegetables is much friendlier logo for the registration purpose.

    On a side note it wouldn't surprise me if Woolworths is the biggest apple computer reseller in Australia through DSE, Tandy and BigW brands. My MBP was brought through one of their stores.

  • by Guysmiley777 ( 880063 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:55AM (#29643689)
    If you look at a gray scale version [photobucket.com] version of the image it's a little more noticeable. Imagine a chrome or transparent plastic version on a "wPod" device or something. Still, not enough to sue over IMHO.
  • by Bandraginus ( 901166 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @09:47PM (#29652641) Homepage
    You're correct. Trademarks have categories for exactly that purpose. The issue in this case is that Woolworths submitted the trademark in EVERY category (ie, 1-43). This covers every single product and service, including computers.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.