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Apple Takes Action Over Australian Logos

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the that's-no-w dept.

Apple 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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Wow, that's hypocracy (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 years ago | (#29641089)

From the company that complained bitterly when sued by Apple Records.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (4, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29641167)

Not just complained bitterly. Acted like a petulant child. Why do you think it took so long for the Beatles to be on iTunes?

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | about 5 years ago | (#29641367)

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

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | about 5 years ago | (#29641531)

I'm sitting here, with a gigantic bag of popcorn, waiting for the circus that will be the fanboy response to this.

Show starts in 3, 2, 1...

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Funny)

eiapoce (1049910) | about 5 years ago | (#29641603)

looks absolutely nothing like the Apple Computer logo

Kinda... Think of when you try to find shapes in the clouds, it's almost the same. The difference this time is that you've got a cold sweat covered Steeve Jobs believing the logo is it's his own and casting black magic on everyone around to project the famous reality distorsion field. Then, actually, throught the field the logos look exactly just the same.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#29641685)

What? It looks just like the Apple logo! ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOJOBS!!

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Interesting)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#29641751)

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

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641471)

Are you saying that Apple (computers) didn't want The Beatles to be on iTunes? I find that highly unlikely given how Jobs is such a big Beatles fan. Probably has more to do with Apple Records, given that putting their music on the iTunes store would have compromised their case trademark case. Seems obvious to me. Or at least more likely than what you're suggesting.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Informative)

Aluvus (691449) | about 5 years ago | (#29641479)

Because the surviving Beatles, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's family have collectively opposed making the Beatles' catalog available on any such service. They were slow to jump to CDs as well. It has nothing particularly to do with Apple (the computer company).

WHA? (5, Informative)

LKM (227954) | about 5 years ago | (#29641747)

Some facts might be helpful:

  1. The Beatles are still not on iTunes
  2. It's not Apple who's preventing it

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 5 years ago | (#29641193)

From the company that complained bitterly when sued by Apple Records.

Wow, that's the very first thing I thought when I saw this story.

Here's the skinny [wikipedia.org] for those not up on their Mediaeval History.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (3, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 5 years ago | (#29641245)

It's not hypocracy.

Why?

Under international trademark law, if Apple /doesn't/ defend their trademark (the Apple logo), then they /lose/ it. /That/ is where the blame and fault lies.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | about 5 years ago | (#29641281)

Look at the logos, though. It would be one thing if the Woolworth's logo was silver, or looked like an apple with a bite out of it. It's neither. It's bright fucking green. It also looks like a stylized lower case 'w', as well as maybe looking like an apple. But honestly, are any Apple-fanboys going to confuse the two? No. Is anyone going to mistakenly assume that the store labeled "Woolworth's" is really an Apple store in disguise? No. Is anyone going to go to the Woolworth's web-page and wonder "Where the fuck are the iTunes downloads?". No. No. A thousand times no.

There's "defend the trademark" and then there's "rampant corporate paranoia".

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Insightful)

Macman408 (1308925) | about 5 years ago | (#29641339)

Yes, but they're doing this for legal safety; either Woolworth's trademark claim gets denied (Apple wins), Woolworth settles (Apple wins), or the government determines that the logos are sufficiently distinct and grants Woolworth's application (Apple still wins). Otherwise, say somebody makes a logo that the government decides does infringe on Apple's trademark; if the offenders can make the case that Woolworth's did it first and Apple didn't protect their trademark, then Apple loses it. But having a definite decision that Woolworth's did not infringe on Apple's logo gives Apple ammunition in future lawsuits.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#29641793)

Yes, but they're doing this for legal safety; either Woolworth's trademark claim gets denied (Apple wins), Woolworth settles (Apple wins), or the government determines that the logos are sufficiently distinct and grants Woolworth's application (Apple still wins).

BZZZZZZT, but thanks for playing.

In Australia when plaintiff makes a false claim against another person they are legally permitted to sue the plaintiff under our woeful deformation laws. Given the obvious difference between the two logo's there is no way for Apple to win this so at the very least Apple will have to pay for Woolworths legal costs as well as their own (Apple loses).

This is not a trademark defence, this is an egotistical and paranoid corporation attempting to enforce its will on other corporations by using the wrong law as a bludgeon. Apple will lose this one like they lost their suite against NYC in a remarkably similar case. [engadget.com]

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641809)

So, Apple didn't do this for "legal safety" because if they do it "they win"? You're comnment says that... And no, the two logos look nothing like the other and I'd be surprised if any Apple fanboi mistook Woolmorth's w for an Apple...

Apple Fanboys No but... (0, Flamebait)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 5 years ago | (#29641375)

Dumb Aussie Joe Public (no offense to Austrailians but I'm trying to set a scene) may indeed confuse the two especially after a few tinnies.

As has been said, Apple is acting like ANY other trademark owner. You could substitute BMW, Merceded, McDonals etc for Apple. IT is your trademark. If you don't defent it then you set a precedent that means you could lose the rights to in in future.

Nothing to do with Copyright, Patents or DRM.

Simple Trademark protection.

Apple Porn (2, Funny)

lewko (195646) | about 5 years ago | (#29641439)

It's bright fucking green.

Funny you should mention that. From the article:

Apple is also taking action against a music festival promoter, Poison Apple, which has applied to trademark an apple with a bite out of it atop crossed bones, and Foxtel, whose branding for a new pornography channel, Adults Only, is an apple together with an arrow and a devil's tail..

Crunchy!

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641805)

Seriously. This is non-news. I'm sure they do this all the time, as a matter of course. But I guess it makes for good clickbait since people can just wear their (mesh) trademark lawyer hat while arguing about the curves and such in each logo.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (4, Insightful)

lewko (195646) | about 5 years ago | (#29641425)

It's not hypocracy.

Okay. Well how about hypocrisy?

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | about 5 years ago | (#29641517)

If they have to sue Woolworths then they also have to sue Taco Bell. Because that's how close the the trademarks are.

I certainly understand in the case of Poisoned Apple and Foxtel. But Woolworths? Seriously?

I don't see how any lawyer could in good faith say "there could be an issue with the woolworths logo, we should sue just to be on the safe side."

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#29641709)

It's not hypocracy.

Sometimes I doubt anyone really knows what the -cracy suffix means. If they did I doubt anyone would say hypocracy (hypo+cracy = a weak/lack of governmental rule?) for hypocrisy or idiocracy for idiocy.

Etymology, people!

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | about 5 years ago | (#29641791)

A hypocracy is what you get when you have a country/world ruled by hypocrites.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (2, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#29641735)

Under international trademark law, if Apple /doesn't/ defend their trademark (the Apple logo), then they /lose/ it. /That/ is where the blame and fault lies.

The only thing is that Woolworths is not using the Apple logo in any way shape or form. There is nothing here for Apple to defend and this will be thrown out of court in short order.

Only fanboys could come up with such a far fetched explanation and consider it plausible. But Apple is doing what Apple has always done, sued anyone who has anything that could possibly even remotely, some day look like an Apple logo.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (2)

Capsy (1644737) | about 5 years ago | (#29641313)

Oddly enough, I still remember this. Steve Jobs is the new Bill Gates.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641353)

Actually, it's hypocrisy.

Re:Wow, that's hypocracy (1)

solferino (100959) | about 5 years ago | (#29641535)

Actually, I think you meant hypocrisy.

Hypocracy is government by Hippos.

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

Hypocracy? (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29641547)

Would that be like a government of hypos by the hypos for the hypos, or would hypos be more like a ruling class governing all the other classes?

L.C.D (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29641091)

Having seen the logos (I read the article. sorry) my first thought was, "How stupid do they really think people are?"

I myself could easily identify the difference after my 3rd day awake in Vegas with a .28 and a swollen left eye received from an offended stripper.

Upon further reflection though the lowest common denominator really is the lowest common denominator. If there are people out there stupid enough to believe a prince in Nigeria is going to give them a million dollars, send txt messages to American Idol at .99c each, pay the infinite profit margin for txt messaging period, and participate in the various money sinks present in the banalities on the Internet... then perhaps Apple does have a valid concern.

As much as I hate to agree with greedy megacorps, Apple's premise is that the majority of people are stupid enough to confuse the logos, and unfortunately I can't seem to argue that they are wrong.. with their premise.

Re:L.C.D (4, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 5 years ago | (#29641197)

That means Apple owns all logos that are apple shaped? Also, I think it's totally wrong to cater to the "lowest common denominator". At some point, people have to take responsibility for their own actions. This thinking is a huge problem in America. Whenever something happens, the first question is "Who do I sue?"

Re:L.C.D (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29641405)

That means Apple owns all logos that are apple shaped?

I think that is illogical and I disagree. What I am unsure of is how trademark law treats it.

Also, I think it's totally wrong to cater to the "lowest common denominator"

Not exactly wrong in this case. On the face of it I would agree with you of course. However, to my understanding trademark law is about whether it would be reasonable to assume someone could mistake the logos. Keeping that in mind, the lowest common denominator really does come into play. You and I may not mistake it, but be honest.... don't we both know some people that would mistake it? People that would come up to us and say, "but it's an Apple!"? I am not arguing that it should be this way, just that on average people really might the that freakin stupid.

At some point, people have to take responsibility for their own actions. This thinking is a huge problem in America. Whenever something happens, the first question is "Who do I sue?"

I absolutely agree with you. Whether or not that thinking will affect the court's decision is something we just have to wait and see.

Re:L.C.D (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#29641461)

> don't we both know some people that would mistake it?

We both know people who think black people are inferior, but that doesn't mean you can neglect to hire black people in your company because you're worried some people would notice that and not use your services. It's understood that some people are ignorant and you don't have to alter your plans to accomodate them.

Re:L.C.D (2, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:L.C.D (3, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#29641725)

Whenever something happens, the first question is "Who do I sue?"

Yeah, that's just wrong. Shouldn't it be "Whom do I sue?"

Re:L.C.D (1)

Ghaoth (1196241) | about 5 years ago | (#29641235)

By definition 50% of the world is below average intelligence. At this moment that is approximately 3,353,496,576 people. That's a hell of a lot of people to believe in princes, etc. Maybe William Tell should be suing Apple.

Re:L.C.D (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | about 5 years ago | (#29641283)

Average intelligence can be really high, and the dumbest people can still be really smart. Of course, they aren't, but as soon as the human race splits into two species, look out!

Re:L.C.D (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29641363)

but as soon as the human race splits into two species, look out!

If that did happen, I would be the species eating the other half. Although I can intellectually realize that eating steak is bad for the environment and ultimately unsustainable at the levels I am accustomed too, I still love steak. So if the world really is going to hell in a hand basket, then I plan on eating the rest of you. I hear people can be rather tasty with ketchup. Just don't eat the brains.

Re:L.C.D (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 5 years ago | (#29641627)

I don't get the transition from steak (beef) to human... IIRC people taste like pork, don't they? :P

Re:L.C.D (2, Funny)

KronosReaver (932860) | about 5 years ago | (#29641295)

By definition 50% of the world is below average intelligence.

And the 50% of us on the top end know that by definition 50% of the world is below MEDIAN intelligence.

Re:L.C.D (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | about 5 years ago | (#29641309)

By definition 50% of the world is below average intelligence.

No, 50% of the world is below the mean not the average.

Hmm... (looks suspiciously at Ghaoth)

Re:L.C.D (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 years ago | (#29641357)

Most people believe "the arithmetic mean" and "the average" to be synonyms, though there are many sorts of averages.

Mean and median are both "averages" (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 years ago | (#29641777)

"Most people believe "the arithmetic mean" and "the average" to be synonyms, though there are many sorts of averages."

Indeed, in fact Mean and median [purplemath.com] are two different kinds of "averages". By convention "The average" in statistics refers to the arithmetic mean. Median is by definition the value that divides the population in half.

Re:L.C.D (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 years ago | (#29641399)

I think you mean 50% is below the median. Any amount of samples can be below the mean.

Also, absent context showing otherwise mean and average are synonyms.

Re:L.C.D (3, Funny)

Ghaoth (1196241) | about 5 years ago | (#29641499)

Semantics and not really relevant to the topic but...If one believes in a balanced distribution, then one would refer to "mean". However, if the distribution is skewed, then the "median" would be more relevant. Since the distribution typically follows a Bell curve, then "mean" should be used. However, I think the Bell curve has gone rather pear shaped, so perhaps "median" could be used. Pick your own "average".

Re:L.C.D (5, Informative)

clowds (954575) | about 5 years ago | (#29641249)

From what I understand (from a local news report) it appears to be over the fact that Woolworths is doing a blanket trademark of every type of trademark item with the new logo.

Now considering that some of the classes of trademarks in Aus are computers and electronics and mobile phones/communication devices; if Woolworths stuck that logo all over the front of a shiny new home brand/Woolworths MP3 player (which they're getting into), there's bound to be some idiot who buys the thing and expects it to work with his iTunes.

The fact that Wooloworths already sells rebranded sim cards and mobile phones this isn't that far a fetch. Granted, I don't see the problem, they're easily distinguishable, but even the smallest similarity and a few dumb customers and Apple has bad press.

Re:L.C.D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641315)

Instead they'll get bad press from a combination of over zealous court action and hypocrisy instead.

Re:L.C.D (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | about 5 years ago | (#29641265)

Does that mean Google owns lower-case "g"?

Re:L.C.D (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641267)

Apple should modify its logo to make it more unique. May I suggest splitting it into 6 horizontal stripes each with a different rainbow color.

Re:L.C.D (1)

ausrob (864993) | about 5 years ago | (#29641733)

"Apple's premise is that the majority of people are stupid enough to confuse the logos" C'mon.. seriously, even Cletus the slack jawed yokel is going to be able to tell the different between the "wapple" and Apple's logo.. plus, Apple *don't own supermarkets*. This is just a drain on our (Australia's) already monolithic legal system, the real victims here are Australian citizens who will have to wait longer for their day in court. Defending the trademark is exactly the same motivation behind McDonald's failed law suit in Malaysia (against McCurry), which was another massive waste of time. All this does is feed the pockets of corporate lawyers (on both sides). Personally, I hope the global-mega-corps get hit with a massive fine for wasting the court's time, which might hopefully send a clear message to said corporations.

Uh: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641093)

For I welcome our new apple shaped overlords!

Re:Uh: (0, Troll)

lewko (195646) | about 5 years ago | (#29641443)

Only a Windows user would say something like that...

Kneejerk litigation (4, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | about 5 years ago | (#29641107)

I don't think Apple has it out for Woolworth's and I don't think Woolworth's meant to make a logo that's similar to Apple's. I see the similar shape but no one would ever mistake the two. This is really just reflexive litigation where the party that potentially faces dilution issues just wants to get the issue in front of a judge for some ass covering. Whether they win or lose, Apple can point to this and say they tried to defend their trademark. And if they lose and in the future, the logo condenses and the bent dash starts to straighten out and it really does look like the Apple logo, they can point to this case again and use it as leverage to say "yeah, we saw this coming, we're not only suing now that it's established".

tl;dr: It's just some cover your ass litigation and nothing more.

Re:Kneejerk litigation (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 5 years ago | (#29641661)

I don't think Apple has it out for Woolworth's and I don't think Woolworth's meant to make a logo that's similar to Apple's. I see the similar shape but no one would ever mistake the two. This is really just reflexive litigation where the party that potentially faces dilution issues just wants to get the issue in front of a judge for some ass covering.

Ahhh the efficiency of the free market at it's finest!

IMHO (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#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

Re:IMHO (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | about 5 years ago | (#29641213)

...level.

There, fixed that for ya.

Chill yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641151)

It seems like Apple has a new, overzealous legal team that feels the need to go after everyone and anyone they can.
But hey, everyone loves a large, bullying, inflexible corporation.
Right? Right?

Then again, Woolworths could lose that tick-thing at the top of their logo.

Re:Chill yo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641237)

But hey, Apple fanbois loves them some large, bullying, inflexible corporation.

FTFY

iAssholes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641171)

Apple sure is turning into quite the trollish company these days.

Is that the new fad style they are pushing now? being an ass?

Its been done already...

Re:iAssholes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641317)

Uhmm, new? They've been like that for 20 years plus. I remember hearing about shit like this when I was a *KID*.

So in a word, they're just keeping with the status quo.

what's next? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641179)

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

Re:what's next? (2, Funny)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 years ago | (#29641475)

Well the trees can't afford lawyers, so it would be an easy case. On the other hand, they can't pay damages either.

Simple, change your fruit. (4, Insightful)

zekt (252634) | about 5 years ago | (#29641275)

Okay then... it's a lime. Now go take a running jump.

Apple is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641301)

Apple is the new microsoft...

-sid

Really?? (5, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about 5 years ago | (#29641303)

Having looked at the two logos, they're easily distinguishable. Apple's logo is solid, the "W" is made of two overlapping loops. Apple's logo has the "bite", the W has no similar feature. Apple's logo is silver, the "W" is green. And on from there...

The article goes on to say that Apple is also trying to prevent someone else from using a logo of an apple with a devil, and all manner of things. That seems a misuse of trademark law. Trademark law is intended to prevent confusing similarities—something like making an MP3 player with a logo of an apple with the bite out of the opposite side, and calling it the "Appel miPod". It's not intended to prevent use of a common fruit in any type of logo anywhere, or to prohibit something with a vague, passing similarity in geometric shape but an obvious difference in any other way.

In fact, I seem to remember Apple making similar arguments themselves, when sued by a certain Apple Records...

Re:Really?? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641457)

*and* they got out of it by saying they weren't in the music business, no one would confuse the two.

What is it they sell in itunes again (mostly lossy forms of lofi digital DRM'd music, iirc) Seems a bit closer than a completely different logo from a company that *may* slap it on something that *might* be technological in nature.

Apple gets worse every day. They are rapidly out-assholing MS. Is this kind of thing inevitable? If so, Google will be a mess.

Re:Really?? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about 5 years ago | (#29641705)

If apple made porn movies, maybe an apple and a trident ect might make the association between apple and porn or the sex industry.

Trouble is that both marks are inspired by the apple in the garden of eden and the tree of knowledge. Apple like it because they make computers bringing knowledge to people. Porn well obviously carnal knowledge.

Really as an old testament story the apple is part of religious symbolism and these apple based symbols are both derivative and both symbols can stand.

A more interesting question does steve jobs see himself as the creator of apple so is he symbolically god or the devil?

Maybe Apple should have complained about this image from 1981 http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/56/762956.jpg [cduniverse.com] that apple logo is quite iconic.

ehh (3, Funny)

voodoowizard (1557839) | about 5 years ago | (#29641305)

Looks more like a peach to me. Anyways... really Apple you have to go after that? I would never have seen the similarity if you did not point it out. Of course that similarity is like drinking fancy beer then after reading the label you think ... yeah it does taste like a ripe banana with clove spices. /.Kellerwies is a happy beer, wait this feels wrong.

Trademark Guidelines (4, Informative)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29641327)

You may not use an image of a real apple or other variation of the Apple logo for any purpose. Third parties cannot use a variation, phonetic equivalent, foreign language equivalent, takeoff, or abbreviation of an Apple trademark for any purpose. For example: Not acceptable: Appletree Jackintosh Apple Cart PodMart

Source. [apple.com]

Now I don't know whether to go with a produce joke, or a Jackintosh one.

Re:Trademark Guidelines (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 years ago | (#29641415)

Those guidelines are for parties who wish to use Apple trademarks in advertising-- computer stores, for example. An apple cidery is unlikely to sell ipods on the side, and would have little need to license the logos for use in its own advertising.

Re:Trademark Guidelines (1)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29641501)

An apple cidery is unlikely to sell ipods on the side

Do not underestimate the apple missionaries. Where most turtleneck and beret wearers would have turned back, they persevere.

Re:Trademark Guidelines (1)

initialE (758110) | about 5 years ago | (#29641481)

Yes. Now all that's missing is the part where you sign it. Not there? Then who agreed to Apple Computer's terms? Can they really lay claim to a piece of natural produce? Doesn't God have prior art?

Re:Trademark Guidelines (5, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29641529)

Doesn't God have prior art?

He did, but he didn't show up for his court date.

Re:Trademark Guidelines (1)

aussie_a (778472) | about 5 years ago | (#29641587)

Doesn't God have prior art?

Sure, but he not only gave Apple a license, he gave them the rights entirely. I wrote it in a book and said "I was inspired" so therefore it must be true.

Fruity Stupid. (1)

Capsy (1644737) | about 5 years ago | (#29641337)

If Apple wins this, then I suggest they sue Fruit of the Loom, for not only implying Apple in the name, but also using an apple in the fruit bowl. Steve Jobs is a tool if he thinks this is legitimate.

woolworths (1)

mambodog (1399313) | about 5 years ago | (#29641345)

The new Woolworths logo is pretty stupid, anyway, its not used in conjunction with their name nearly enough, and to me it always looked more like an apple than a W.

The logo is an apple peel, shaped like an apple... (1, Interesting)

distantbody (852269) | about 5 years ago | (#29641361)

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.

Re:The logo is an apple peel, shaped like an apple (1)

JayAEU (33022) | about 5 years ago | (#29641527)

Ultimately I think that an apple is commonplace and no-one should be able to register it as a trademark.

Good thinking, that's why Microsoft won't be able to register a trademark for "Windows". No, wait... Uhm... ;)

Re:The logo is an apple peel, shaped like an apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641687)

Or why Bass Beer has a red triangle as their trademark.

At the end of the day, the important thing is limiting the scope. Someone should be able to open up an Apple Dry Cleaners business that uses an apple as a logo, provided that a reasonable person would not confuse it with the Apple Computer's logo.

new logo looks like peeled apple skin (4, Funny)

ad454 (325846) | about 5 years ago | (#29641393)

That new Woolworth's logo looks to me like a peeled apple skin, which is a part of the apple you throw away to avoid wax, pesticides, filth, etc.
Coincidences? Maybe not.

Or wash the apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641631)

They're like potatos, there's minerals and vitamins in the skin that get discarded when peeled. Wash the apple and the wax, pesticdes, filth are gone.

Uh oh... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641403)

In related news, the board members of Fruit of the Loomâ just shat in their briefs...

Lesser of two evils (1)

tru3ntropy (1632547) | about 5 years ago | (#29641409)

Whilst looking at the two logos i think its an absolutely stupid idea that apple could think that anyone on their worst day could mistake one for the other; however knowing the power that woolworths has in Australia; being part of a duopoly that beats out competition and keeps the prices some of the highest in the world whilst not looking out for Australian farmers and now trying to expand into other markets im finding it hard to feel sorry for woolworths. whilst i don't think apples case will hold up and it wont change anything i cant help but feel satisfied that Goliath is getting some of its own back even if it is another Goliath dishing it out.

Apple is smoking crack (1, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | about 5 years ago | (#29641435)

Or, more precisely, their lawyers are.

If someone gives me the addresses of these lawyers I'll be more than happy to make a bunch of stickers of this logo and plaster it over every square inch of property they own! With the amount of crack theymust be smoking, they probably won't notice it and think it's all part of their landscape.

Re:Apple is smoking crack (2, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 5 years ago | (#29641677)

Under international trademark law, if Apple doesn't defend their trademark against any and all percieved infringements (that is, this story), they /lose their trademark/.

The silliness doesn't originate with Apple, but with international trademark law.

Re:Apple is smoking crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641779)

Oh I am pretty sure they would see it... However with the amount of crack they must be smoking, they will then proceed to file a lawsuit against themselves for trademark infringement...

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641447)

Can we stop pretending that MS is the evilest tech company in the world yet, or are we waiting until Apple, Inc. starts suing grocery stores for selling infringing fruits and vegetables?

Perfectly understandable (4, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | about 5 years ago | (#29641455)

We all know that Australians throw prawns on the BBQ and drink Beer. We have never heard any Australian on any programme ever refer to fruit.

Therefore Apple's case is completely valid as no Australian knew what an Apple was before Apple showed them the picture, in fact it wasn't until the mid-90s that Australians knew that there was a fruit called the Apple rather than it just being about a computer.

Quite clearly therefore Apple owns the right to every apple-esque or indeed fresh fruit like Logo that is possible to be created.

In separate developments they also own the concept of 3D in Germany.

Re:Perfectly understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641593)

Ha! And what about Kiwi fruit?

Woolworths is no College Kid getting sued by RIAA (4, Interesting)

lewko (195646) | about 5 years ago | (#29641483)

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:Woolworths is no College Kid getting sued by RI (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641713)

So what if they're corporate bullys? That has absolutely no bearing on this case. Apple is batshit insane on this one, and the fact that Woolworths are not nice people has zero to do with it and shouldn't make us jump 'ZOMG they're guilty, appel is teh g0dz and can do no evil!!!1!1!!1one!1".

They'll lose this one... (4, Insightful)

sitarlo (792966) | about 5 years ago | (#29641495)

I don't think the logos aren't similar enough to prove an infringement of trademark, especially international. This is going to be a big waste of money and time for Apple. Why attack Aussie businesses with fruity logos anyway? Don't they have anything better to do? Like, maybe fix the iMac "Big Yellow Line" display problems.

It's a green pepper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641519)

"WOOLWORTHS insists its new logo is a stylised W, or a piece of fresh produce"

I think it looked more like a green pepper than an apple if you are seeing it by itself.

Isn't the Apple logo in Design 101 lesson 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641567)

on the back if EVERY SINGLE laptop?

Not so crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641589)

They are probably suing just to get attention. Might get a lot of Australians to think about Apple Computers when they walk into Woolworths. So maybe they are crazy, but at the same time not.

Apple, just another Microsoft in worst. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641599)

Apple, just another Microsoft in worst.

The real point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29641633)

The differences are obvious but what is also obvious is it's meant to "give the impression" of the Apple logo. It's common practice and sleazy marketing but it's usually done by much smaller companies. It's easy tell Apple to get a life but they have spent hundreds of millions developing the brand and they aren't happy when another company tries to snake some of reflected glory. Honestly look at the "leaf" at the top of the "W". Take that away and the problem goes away but it was put there specifically to mimic the Apple brand. Advertising is all about leaving an impression. The average person may look at it and not think Apple but somewhere in their lizard brain the Apple light goes off. Trust me they did a lot of testing to make sure people got the mental tie in to Apple. Will Apple win? Hard to say but Woolworth's is hardly an innocent victim they are testing the boundaries of what they can get away with. The whole point is they have a long established brand and this is a radical departure from it. Rather than take the years to establish a new brand look they are trying to piggyback on Apple much as the design for the Microsoft stores did. I think the Beetles argument was far less convincing. They claimed they had a trademark on a bloody apple.

Dear Apple: Sue These Guys Instead, Please (1)

alex4point0 (179152) | about 5 years ago | (#29641699)

http://www.ladidapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/musicmattersportrait.jpg [ladidapeople.com] (exercise caution, badware reported)
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/9193/musicmattersportrait.jpg [imageshack.us] (mirror)
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7156/ladida.gif [imageshack.us] (logo closeup)

Their 'viral' marketing campaign includes vandalism -- paste-ups or posters all over Melbourne. They look shit, it's obviously derivative, they're begging for some Streisand action, why not deliver them some. Leave the graf and posters to people with talent

... or perhaps that's what they want

tired (1)

countach (534280) | about 5 years ago | (#29641715)

I kinda hope Apple wins this one, mostly because I'm tired of corporate rebranding campaigns, and I find this whole new Woolworths logo tiresome, and an attempt to be clever that failed. The old logo was just "Woolworths", which said all it needed to say. Enough with logos already. Thank goodness the Australian government put a stop to government agencies all having their own logo. That was also boring and tiresome, and thankfully has been squashed.

Checking my pattern-recognition skills (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about 5 years ago | (#29641741)

(Looks at lid of laptop ... looks at shopping receipt...)

Nope, don't see it. Just as well, 'cos I've apparrently got a tree full of copyright-infringement in my backyard...

The real travesty here is Woolworths. Their corporate logo is apple green, their staff uniforms are apple green - so what do they do? Make their store loyalty card bright orange, and make their staff wear a bright orange cap to advertise it.

Now I'm as straight as they come and, as such, have absolutely no eye for colour-coordination - but even I would baulk at wearing bright orange and a rather-subdued apple green together. That's about as tasteless as their home brand oven-fry chips. You're checking out the cute checkout chick, you look up to her face, and ...

ARRGH!

But, just as the poor girl at the checkout had the decency to apologise for giving me the hard-sell on the card, I had the decency to not laugh at her hat.

Until I walked outside, anyway...

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