September 13, 2012
Apple Sues Polish Grocer Over Trademark Rights
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
I´d like to propose a quick pop quiz to all redOrbit.com readers. Now, before you bristle, I assure you this will be as brief as it is painless. After a long day of reading health, science, space and tech articles (That is what you´ve been doing all day, right?) we just want to make sure that everything is still functioning properly up there in the ol´ noodle.
* Question 1. Can you distinguish at least 3 differences between a melon and an iPhone 5?
* Question 2. Can you distinguish the difference between a circle and the Apple logo?
* Question 3. Do you live in Poland?
Now, using incredibly advanced wireless neurological technologies on which no expense was spared, the incredibly dapper engineers at Your Universe Online will tabulate the results.
Just one moment...
And they´re done.
Congratulations! You might have more common sense than Apple, Inc.!
Perhaps Apple is feeling Cocky after they beat the pants off Samsung. Perhaps they philosophically hate the idea of Polish grocery delivery services. For whatever reason, Apple Inc, the producer of aluminum, glass and steel products which aren´t recommended for consumption, are suing Polish online grocer A.pl over trademark issues.
On first blush, the domain itself looks as if it could really cheese off Apple. A.pl looks like the text-speak shortening of “Apple,” after all. However, the .pl extension is simply the country code for Poland. No, it´s A.pl´s logo which has Apple thinking this domain name might be more than mere coincidence. According to PCWorld, Apple raised a stink when A.Pl first wanted to use the green spherical logo topped with a lone leaf.
According to News site Telepolis, Apple is suggesting A.Pl´s logo could not only confuse customers, but furthermore is nothing more than a cheap ploy to profit from Apple´s massive global appeal and recognizability.
Playing off Apple´s profitability seems more likely than confusing customers, actually. In fact, I can think of several companies and products who have tried to play off Apple´s recognizability. When the iPod first became a huge success, it seemed every company wanted to preface their products and services with that lowercase “i.”
The notion that this logo, which, to my eye, only resembles the Apple´s in that one leaf, could cause confusion in customers is pure silliness. Not only do the two companies work in two completely different industries, the two companies seem completely different in and of themselves. Their Web sites, by the way, have zero resemblance, save for the fact that they´re both online.
When a company starts building similar products, lifting your logos AND profiting from your success, then yes, I say sue. Sue to your heart´s content, sue till your fingertips are permanently ink-stained from writing out countless court filings, sue sue sue!
But, when a smaller company located nearly 6,000 miles away without any global presence or global customers happens to have a logo which may look like yours, I say let it be.
Hell, even if A.pl is trying to ride Apple´s coattails, what´s the harm in it? Apple should protect their trademarks, yes, but wouldn´t a simple cease and desist do in more serious situations?
We´ll keep an eye on this crazy legal action, but until then, try your best not to confuse your food with your electronics. There are few pains more excruciating than picking glass from your lips, only to face ridicule over it for the rest of your life.
I mean, I assume...