back to article Apple rattles legal sabre at Canadian tech school

Apple is none too pleased with the Victoria School of Business and Technology in Vancouver, which has for the last three years or so used a logo which the computer giant claims is too similar to its own brand frontage. The Apple and Victoria School of Business and Technology logos According to Canada's Globe and Mail, Apple …


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  1. Alexis Vallance

    Got a point

    It is similar. Sure, it's got a mountain inside and shading, but what happens when it's printed in a single colour? I think Apple have a point with this one.

    The logo's crap as it is anyway - they should count themselves lucky this gives them a chance to design a decent logo from scratch.

  2. Alan Fisher


    Apple is the agency of the devil; it's true...why else did the Apple logo have a bite out of it?? Lol..see secret kabbalistic meaning in the names of Jobs and'll be amazed! Ok that last part's a joke but they seem mighty defensive about their *ahem* (avoiding future litigation here) fruit of the pyrus malus (tree) type logo don't they? Like there'd be any confusion....*sigh*

    They're just turning into bully boys these's sad...

    maybe I should sue anyone who makes money out of my surname and is younger than me, I had right to it before they did afterall (not relatives though, unfortunately!)

    Pirates coz that's wa' dey are bein'!

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Nothing new

    Microsoft got lindows banned. A made up word similar to a dictionary word which they somehow managed to trademark.

    Big corporations are very heavyhanded when it comes to their brand.

  4. Gulfie

    Oh dear oh dear...

    Has Apple poached any Microsoft PR staff recently? Or Maybe Stevie J is colourblind... I think we should be told.

  5. Dam


    They copied an apple !

    NOBODY ELSE should have the right to use apples.



    Am I doing it right yet ?

    Stupid Apple retards...

  6. Jamie


    It was not that long ago that Maccy had this type of arguemnet with Macca and the Beatles Trust regarding the use of Apple and music. There while the shoe was on the other foot they argued that there could be no confusion.

    Wonder if they will get upset if the school in this case uses thier own arguements against them.

  7. Vincent
    Jobs Horns


    Okay, same sort of shape, sure (but how many different shapes can you get out of an apple?), but otherwise in terms of colouring and stuff, it's completely different.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nope - nothing like it

    I think Apple is being very idiotic here. The apple itself is structured different (no shaded colours to round it), it is whole (Apple's is, umm, second hand :-), there are drawings in it and the college is a completely different business (although that didn't matter in the Beatles dispute either, and who got THAT Apple first?).

    May the brand people at Apple eat a poisoned, well, apple..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Apple should be sued...

    I keep going into their store thinking its an Ann Summers...

  10. Laxman

    @Nothing new

    Microsoft actually lost that case initially, and paid $20 million to Lindows to change their name to Linspire

  11. ChessGeek

    Dear Apple...

    God hereby asks you to cease and desist in your use of a logo consisting of an apple with a bite out of it. This symbology has longstanding association with Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, Apple's usurpation of this symbol could be confusing to the public at large, leading - among other undesired results - to mis-identification of Steven Jobs as God.

    God hereby enjoins Apple from any further use of said logo in promotion of its products.

  12. Jared Earle
    Jobs Halo

    Defend it or lose it

    If you don't actively defend a trademark, you lose it.

    And yes, there's no way this college didn't know what they were doing; It's the Technology department, ffs.

    Like 'em or not, Apple has a point in this case.

  13. Jacob Reid
    Jobs Horns

    what next?

    Are apple going to try to take Tesco to court for selling apples?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that dissimilar

    When you see how the school uses their logo you start to see why apple may be hunting them down

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Nice one...

    can't wait until they try and sue Hereford County Council, after all they have a web site....

    PS. these people are too Polite in their responses.

    Mine would read.

    Dear Apple Laywers,



    Fred Smith

  16. Matt Smart
    Thumb Down


    Apple are shooting themselves in the foot here. Like the guy who wrote the rebuttal said, are they inferring that any educational institution with an apple-like logo is infringing patent? The school apparently uses exclusively apple machines - why deliberately lose that business?

    One of the suggestions is to change the leaf angle. Seems fair to me.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple need a good kicking. They make Microsoft look like huggable teddybears.

  18. JMC

    Happened to the iLecture people as well.

    If I recall correctly a few years ago iLecture (Australian online video lecture delivery software for Universities) had to be renamed. The product was renamed "Lectopia" in response to pressure from Apple when they attempted to peddle it across the pond.

    Not that Apple has an iLecture product or anything.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    So any use of an apple... part of a logo is going to attract this bully-boy litigation? I hope the judge fines Apple for wasting court time.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    End Of Rampant Rabbits?

    If they'll go after these guys then I guess the Ann Summers company should keep an eye over their shoulder.

    No wait, they've got a few quid so they're probably alright...


  21. James

    Apple are going to be ...

    .. really, really busy. Or at least their legal department is. I have seen huge numbers of fruit trees all bearing items that look remarkably like the Apple Logo.

    I assume that Apple, Inc. will be taking legal action against God, Nature, the Planet for producing so many copies of it's logos.

    Grow up Apple, Inc. !! Stop playing the spoilt wee brat......

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    MS didn't get Lindows banned, aprt from that your arguement is flawless.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Why would you want that logo?

    What's the "apple" connection with the school exactly? Why would you even want your school associated with an apple? Given that apple is a big tech company, and they're a tech teaching place, you'd have thought they'd have seen this coming ...

    Also, the leaf goes the same way in both logos. An accident? Can you not draw an apple without a leaf on it for some reason?

    It looks very much like they started with Apple's logo and worked on the design just enough (or so they thought) for it to be different from Apple's logo. Why? For the love of god why?

  24. NT

    Team Apple: World Police

    Just when I think I've no more respect left for Apple, I find I can still lose just a little bit more. But I'm sure that must be my limit now.

    Hell's teeth, if they've got nothing better to worry about than some obscure college somewhere using a fruit-based logo then I envy them. This is pathetic, petty-minded bullying. I could understand it if someone had set up in business *doing what Apple do* using a logo that looks like theirs, but they haven't.

    The first commenter here said that, if printed in mono, the logos would look similar. They wouldn't. As pointed out, the apple is a different shape and includes mountains. Apple, apparently, forgot to include mountains and had a bite taken out of their apple.

    Or is the implication that Apple have somehow been able to copyright the shape of an apple? In which case, I suggest the company prost... lawyers... might have some trouble bringing Mother Nature to book. What, I wonder, was the reason for them taking that bite out of the side of their own logo in the first place? Was it, perchance, in order to make it *distinctive*?

    So. Different colour logos. Different shape logos. Entirely different purpose for the 'company': Apple produce overpriced novelty gadgets; the university provides education. So it's hard to see how the two could be confused at all.

    On the other hand, whoever has the most money makes the law, so I can't imagine the university would have any hope of winning if it came to court. And if Apple's who... lawyers... are at a loose end and feel like suing random educational establishments out of existence on asinine pretexts, then I can't imagine anything would stop them going ahead. If I was the university I'd perhaps alter the logo so that the leaf was pointing to the left instead of the right, and hope it's enough to placate Jobs' heavies.

  25. Gerrit Hoekstra
    Paris Hilton

    The problem with an unoriginal Fruit&Veg logo... that it is easy to accidentally immitate and cause offence. Not only do we have patent trolls, we now have logo trolls too, it seems.

    Paris, because she is also easy to immitate and causes offence.

  26. Lychee66

    Apples and pears

    What a pithy argument, it'll all go pear shaped. Really give me the pip this kind of thing.

  27. Nic Brough

    I hate this

    This simply shouldn't be allowed. The logos are far too different.

    If they'd used a plain apple with a chunk missing and a slightly different colour, or the leaf going the other way, or some other minor tweak, then Apple would have had a case. But without the distinctive bite mark, with the zig zag and the use of many colours, it becomes totally different. For me, the bite mark alone is enough.

    It would be like the makers of orange juice suing the moon because it's "a big bumpy orb that looks a bit like our product".

  28. Cosmo Bozo
    Jobs Horns

    Apple Corp

    It's also eerily similar to the Beatles' Apple Corp logo i.e. it is an apple. Which do you think came first?

  29. John Molloy
    Paris Hilton

    Unfortunately they HAVE to...

    If they don't protect their trademark then others can come in and use the fact they didn't protect it in this case against them. So this is not Apple being evil this is what they have to do.

    Paris - coz even Paris knows that!

  30. Chris
    Thumb Down

    ~shakes head in utter bewilderment~

    This prooves that Apple really is not the nice family orientated company all the fanboy's claim it is... It really is a ruthless, moral less, mean and hypocritical industrial behemoth!

    Thumbs down because the logo has a very vague familiarity to it... OF COURSE it is an apple as in the Fruit apple..

    Maybe the black helicopters need to go to sunnyvale (Wasn't that where Buffy lived? Maybe Apple is taken over by the vampires)

  31. Elmer Phud
    Jobs Horns

    Latest News

    Apple are to sue Disney for use of an apple in the Snow White cartoon. The apple in question is one used by the Wicked Queen to poison Snow White. Apple are concerned that the use of the poisoned fruit may reflect poorly on their own snow white public image.

    The Wicked Witch commented that 'Mr Jobs is likely to receive a pineapple suppository'. Snow White was unavailable for comment, believed to be hibernating.

  32. jimbarter
    Jobs Horns

    next in line

    the issaquah schools foundation

    apple-b building & plastering limited

    and the boy with the apple birthmark

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Prior Art and Beatles

    I note that this apple doesn't have a bite taken out of the side, which was seen in the Apple v. Apple Corps. case as one of the defining characteristics.

    Therefore I believe it may be relevant to point out that the apple has been a symbol of knowledge and learning ever since ... well, the Garden of Eden. That's pretty much the oldest one in the book, that is.

  34. Dennis
    Thumb Down

    I wouldn't go to that school

    The head dosn't understand that VSBT isn't an acronym.


  35. AlisonW

    Reality bites?

    I've just eaten an apple but I first cut it in half. OH NOES!!1! I've committed trademark infringement.

    Reality should bite an apple, or vice-versa

  36. Mark Broadhurst
    Jobs Horns

    Grey scale

    for those who think the logos looks similar in grey scale it appears in the video and looks even more different.

  37. vincent himpe

    time to

    grid the axe and start cutting down all apple trees. they are next ... Apple trees worldwide infringe on apples trademark every single fall when the bear fruit.. maybe we should tremove the world apple from all dictionaries and ban its use. we can call the fruit 'the fruit formerly known as a computer brand'.

    just ban apple altogether. bunch of twats

  38. Adam T
    Thumb Down

    A is for Anal

    nuff said.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Apple, the new Microsoft

    How familiar.

    Logo's shit though, both of them.

  40. Anthony

    Big Business, trademarks, etc

    While I support the right of businesses to protect their trademarks and intellectual property, after all, they own it, I feel that this one, and also the task dock are reaching. Is Apple really that desperate for cash?

    If I had one tenth of the money Steve Jobs has, I'd be considered rich!

  41. Steven Jones

    @Alexis Vallance

    "Sure, it's got a mountain inside and shading, but what happens when it's printed in a single colour? I think Apple have a point with this one."

    No need to guess what it looks like - I've tried it and apart from both being apple-shaped then they look completely different. Little clues like the large letters VSBT and the representation of a mountain peak for a start. Anybody stupid enough to confuse the two probably shouldn't be allowed out on their own.

    It's a ridiculous and pointless case. I'm sure that Apple employ a company to search these things out and pay them each time they make a case.

  42. Chris Shewchuk

    Evidently nobody bothered...

    ...reading AC's post "Not that dissimilar" about a third down through the comments. I had the same initial knee-jerk reaction to Apple going after the little guy that everybody else in these comments had, and then saw the image AC mentioned:

    I had to at least stop and think when I saw how similar the two logos *can* look, especially in the context of that photo.

  43. Shane Orahilly
    Paris Hilton

    Is it just me...

    ...or should Apple be negotiating SPONSORSHIP of the college in appreciation of their ongoing custom , obvious hero-worship and low-cost media coverage they've gained from this.

    The Joberati are missing a trick here.

    Also, Microshaft should pay an advertising levy to the owner of any building with more than one window.

    Paris, because she knows how to work bad publicity into profitable publicity.

  44. NT
    Thumb Down

    @ John Molloy

    << If they don't protect their trademark then others can come in and use the fact they didn't protect it in this case against them. So this is not Apple being evil this is what they have to do. >>

    If there was any similarity at all between the two logos, aside the general shape of an apple, then I'd agree. Or if the college was setting out to manufacture and sell shiny technological baubles to the status-conscious, then maybe there'd be a case to say that Apple need to 'protect' their logo.

    But again, this isn't anything like their logo, beyond the shape of an apple - and I'd be interested to know if copyright law allows them exclusive rights to a naturally occurring object; because if it does it's clearly insane.

    Like I said, they took that bite out of their own apple for a reason. What was the reason, do we think?

  45. Adam Foxton

    Canadian Borders

    The Canadians have a border around their apple.

    The Canadians are missing (or is that gaining?) the bite out of their apple.

    The Canadians have their logo written inside their apple

    The Canadians apple is a different shape to Apples' apple.

    Still, the main point should be- why did they choose an apple as their logo if not to copy Apple? And why would a tech department want to copy Apple? A design (or prickish self-publicist) department sure but not a tech department.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Puzzling comments


    Yes VSBT - (V)ictoria (S)chool of (B)usiness and (T)echnology is an acronym so perhaps you should be willing to go to that school and less willing to throw insults.

    Not that dissimilar: anonymous coward:

    I looked at the picture and the logos look radically different because there is no actual apple outline if this is a typical use of the logo then Apples case is even more frivolous. The fact that VSBT teaches the use of Micr.osoft Office is neither suprising or grounds to complain about the logo

  47. ratfox

    It IS quite close

    I don't think people could watch that logo without thinking of the other one. It is an obvious allusion, in my opinion.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vancouver island

    So this would be Victoria on Vancouver Island

    Vancouver island is the size of Holland and has a population of 750,000 - hardly a major target.

    For those that don't know its the long large bit just off the coastline on the left hand side of a N.American map just by the Canada/US border, well worth a visit though.

  49. NT
    Thumb Down

    @ AC: Puzzling comments (16:54)

    << Yes VSBT - (V)ictoria (S)chool of (B)usiness and (T)echnology is an acronym so perhaps you should be willing to go to that school and less willing to throw insults. >>

    Actually, it's not. Strictly speaking an acronym is an abbreviation by initial letters that results in a pronounceable word. Laser, sonar and radar are acronyms; as are NASA and NATO*. But VSBT is just an abbreviation. Which I suspect is what Dennis was getting at.


    * Yes, before anyone picks me up on it, strictly speaking *because* they're acronyms I should probably write them Nasa and Nato - but for some reason I think they look a bit weird like that, so I don't.

  50. Albert Hall

    It's close enough...

    As this contretemps is occurring in my backyard I'm obliged to point out that the offending logo is most often seen in black-only form in the local weekly advertising flyer, specifically in the classified ad section. While smallish it is paired with the Adobe logo and is positioned next to some copy about courses in web design and development. In that context this apple logo does leap off the page, in fact I've been drawn to it more than once because I thought it might be the Apple logo – a relative novelty until recently in such surroundings, hence my reaction. Of course the school's logo is different but I can't believe it is entirely fortuitous that they came up with this. As others have pointed out, they need something better anyway.

    For the record, the school is located in Saanich, not in Vancouver. Saanich is a suburban community adjacent to Victoria which is on the southernmost extremity of Vancouver Island.

    Cheers, all

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VSBT should have anticipated this

    Doesn't say much about a school of business and technology if they couldn't anticipate this kind of problem when choosing their logo.

  52. william yielding

    Stupid Apple

    Well here gose some rich company claming it's mine!

    Well nature or god made it first have you payed them their due stupid.

    youre apple has a bite missing and theirs dosent.

    hey since teachers were around first did you pay them as the apple was considered a perfict gift to teachers.

    O wait lets dig someone who said "An apple a day keep's the doctor away." and sue him but wait he coined that phrase before you stupid.

    Grow up it is a school not a computer/sofware manufacture.

    this is the reason I dont buy Apple and Microsoft Steve and Bill can Puker up! LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX free gnu I can say all those words and not get sued!

  53. Moss Icely Spaceport


    Perhaps if it were more bollocky-looking ?

  54. Nigel Wright

    I am going to set up a fruit shop....

    ....Specialising in selling Apples of all sorts. I am going to use a red english apple as my trademark and call my shop "The English Apple Shop".

    Let's see how the charlatans react to that.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb frigging fanboys.

    There's been a few of these:-

    >"I don't think people could watch that logo without thinking of the other one.

    >It is an obvious allusion, in my opinion."

    So they obviously need bitch slapping.

    -The Apple computer logo is a biblical allusion to the apple of knowledge in the bible, if a some company that produces computers for the semi-literate-yet-artistic can use it with that in mind surely and educational establishment can.

    -The businesses are unrelated - This is actually pretty fundamental.

    -The logo's don't look the same, there's only so many ways of drawing an apple.

    "Oh it's got an Apple so it must be an iShite" - How fucking stupid are you? Perhaps you need to enroll at the VSBT for some educ-fucking-cation dumbasses.

    I'm very tense today, so this'll no doubt get Hazel'd.

  56. steogede
    Jobs Horns

    Finders Fee

    I saw a tree this morning which was covered in similar logos, do you think Apple Inc. will give me a finders fee if they manage to successfully sue the tree?

  57. Joc

    God.... god !!

    Steve Jobs IS god - havent you heard. So apples are copyright him, first prototype appearing sometime on friday afternoon approximately 10,000 years ago (right after creating the pub) !

  58. Nathan
    Thumb Up

    Fruit Masters

    I for one welcome our new pedantic fruit copyrighting masters

  59. NT

    @ Prior Art and Beatles (13:25)

    << Therefore I believe it may be relevant to point out that the apple has been a symbol of knowledge and learning ever since ... well, the Garden of Eden. That's pretty much the oldest one in the book, that is. >>

    Hang on - what?

    There's no 'apple' as a symbol of knowledge in the Bible. Are you thinking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, in Genesis? That fruit forbidden to Adam and Eve? The Bible doesn't say it was an apple, as far as I'm aware. It just says 'fruit'.

    Of course, I'm willing to be corrected if anyone knows better and wants to educate my poor pagan self...?

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