back to article Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo

As well as being Cockney rhyming slang for stairs, "apples and pears" is a phrase in many European countries meaning to compare two items that have little to no practical relation. The trillion-dollar tech corporation Apple, however, would appear to disagree. The founders of meal planner and grocery list app Prepear have …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Assholes...

    That is all.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Assholes...

      iAssholes

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Assholes...

        Fruit with rounded corners is next. It's only a matter of time before Tim Apple tries to go after anyone using "Cook" or "Jobs".

        1. Mike Rowesoft

          Re: Assholes...

          bunch of petty Jobsworths !...

        2. Simon Harris Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Assholes...

          UK readers who are old enough may remember Boots the Chemist once had a kitchenware department branded Cookshop. I think they disappeared sometime in the 90s, but obviously a time-travelling trademark infringing play on Apple Store.

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Assholes...

          Needs Paul to go after then for pretending to be him.

          Imagine the disappointment the kids felt when Paul O'Grady turned out to be Tim Apple.

        4. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Assholes...

          Woz thinking the same.

    2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Assholes...

      Assholes, Inc.

      1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Assholes...

        iHoles would be good enough to convey who one is talking about and what one's opinion of them is.

        Jobs would be proud of the minimalism even though he'd have a tantrum over the target.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    In an alternate reality somewhere

    Apple couldn't market its way out of a paper bag so their overpriced black and white computers with only 128K of memory didn't sell, Commodore could actually market their computers and also had management that wasn't suicidal, and the world would be a better place.

    1. mego

      Re: In an alternate reality somewhere

      I have no idea what butt hurt idiot is downing you but you hit it on the nose right there.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: In an alternate reality somewhere

      By “marketing” you mean sell computers at a fraction of the price.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: In an alternate reality somewhere

        Well, Apple cannibalised their expensive Lisa sales with the cheap(er) Macintosh so that's true, but Commodore's marketing in the US flailed about everywhere and was never able to clearly define how the cheaper Amiga was better than the more expensive Mac.

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: In an alternate reality somewhere

          The Macintosh had lots of advantages over Amiga, but the design of the system software and the all-in-one form factor were the biggest ones. Amiga was a spectacular home computer, and it started the whole category of “multi-media”, but it really wasn't good for productivity software once you moved away from video graphics - there wasn't any word processor as easy-to-use as MacWrite, or a spreadsheet as easy to use as Excel (the original version of Excel was developed for Mac; there was never a DOS version).

          The question of whether Macintosh was worth the crazy price Apple charged is a different one, and the answer to that is probably “no” for people like you or me who come from a technology background and know how this stuff works, but for many buyers, the price was definitely worth the savings they gained in being able to use a computer to write their documents without having to memorize arcane command sequences.

          The consistency of the Macintosh, even when you went from one vendor’s software package to another’s was completely revolutionary: Apple was the first computer maker to take this idea seriously, and so the developer documentation didn’t just tell you what the libraries could do, it also told you how you were supposed to present these functions to the user. (This was a key concept in Macintosh from its beginnings as a text-based system under Jef Raskin’s direction, long before Jobs arrived and turned it into a GUI system to undermine the Lisa project that he’d just been booted off)

  3. Dave Pickles

    Apple at odds with reality

    "Applicant's Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf"

    That's what a pear leaf looks like!

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: Apple at odds with reality

      These dastardedly pear trees are right next, they'll pay for their insolence!

    2. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Apple at odds with reality

      Coming up next:

      "Applicant's mark consists of a small, simple icon or drawing intended to identify them as a company"

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Apple at odds with reality

      'right angled leaf'

      Apple's case should therefore be thrown out immediately as their leaf is at an angle of 45 degrees to the fruit's axis.

    4. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: Apple at odds with reality

      Suggest they change the company name and buy the Acorn Computers Logo/Trademark.

      Some French Company owns it.... from Wiki.

      Acorn Computers (2006)

      the dormant Acorn Computers trademark from French company Aristide & Co Antiquaire De Marques in early 2006. This company sold IBM PC compatible computers.

      Apple were using their jazzy rainbow logo at the time anyway when Acorn were formed - 2 years after Apple.... and was used for years without challenge.

      Perhaps Apple should be persuaded to move back to the rainbow ... supportive against discrimination in any form.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Apple at odds with reality

        The Acorn Computers I remember didn't produce IBM compatible PCs. They invented the Acorn Risc Machine chip that now powers most of the world's smartphones, including Apple's.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple at odds with reality

        "Perhaps Apple should be persuaded to move back to the rainbow ... supportive against discrimination in any form"

        Except discrimination against fruit-based logos or rounded corners?

      3. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Apple at odds with reality

        But PreAcorn doesn't have the same puntastic appeal as PrePear.

        El Reg - shouldn't you be suing them for muscling in on your pun racket?

    5. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Apple at odds with reality

      "Applicant's Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf"

      As opposed to Apple's. Their logo is a silhouette of an elaborately shaped apple design with a prominent bite taken out of it, and with a separate silhouette of a small leaf floating above it at a 45 degree angle. The leaf is far too elongated to be an apple tree leaf, but is more like a willow tree leaf.

  4. Blergh

    "Applicant's Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf"

    IMO If they tried to redesign their logo without the leaf it could very easily start to look a bit phallic. I suppose, unless it then became a chopped up pear (ouch!)

    1. MrBanana

      "it could very easily start to look a bit phallic."

      Yes, and why not do so deliberately? If my DildoDesign corp. has a logo of a phallus that looks very similar to the Apple logo (design students can be quite creative), Apple would then have to argue in court that their logo looks like a dildo. I'm sure they would love the publicity for that.

      **I'm using Dildo as one example here, obviously other private parts of the male and female anatomy are available.

      1. ST Silver badge
        Devil

        iDildo

        > Apple would then have to argue in court that their logo looks like a dildo.

        Or, Apple could just admit in court that they are, in fact, a dildo, and move on.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        **I'm using Dildo as one example here, obviously other private parts of the male and female anatomy are available.

        IMHO, Apple are being Tits here

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          I stopped reading at 'I'm using a dildo'

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        "it could very easily start to look a bit phallic."

        @MrBanana

        Yes

    2. Fr. Ted Crilly
      Childcatcher

      Sadly i am unable to find a picture of the British Fruit Association logo, you all will have to watch a dull speech by Melvin Windpipe wearing a certain tie...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7DrV5f5ge0

      I feel it may be a better model to copy.

  5. williamsth

    How on earth do they think this is a threat? Absolute bullies with nothing better to do

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They don't think it's a threat. However, a trademark must be actively protected, or else it's lost forever. Since Apple is hugely dependent on its picture branding, they have no choice but to prosecute.

      I don't think they even care if ultimately a judge decides that they're in the wrong here, as long as they show their willingness to protect it.

      People who don't like that should push credible trademark reforms to their elected representative, instead of the pointless "signing" of online petitions.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        "They don't think it's a threat. However, a trademark must be actively protected, or else it's lost forever. Since Apple is hugely dependent on its picture branding, they have no choice but to prosecute."

        Nonsense. You only have to defend a trademark against things that actually have potential to infringe it. Not only does this logo clearly look nothing whatsoever like Apple's, but they're not using it to compete with anything Apple does. They have all the choice in the world to avoid frivolous legal action like this. The only place their choice appears to be lacking is in whether to act as complete dicks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A trademark infringement does not require being a competitor of the brand, so that part of your argument doesn't hold much water.

          As for the "look nothing whatsoever", really, that's not an argument at all, that's an opinion.

          You should also consider that unlike the comparison made on the petition, Apple Inc owns many more trademarks than the well-known logo.

          https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmowner/page/search?id=566892&domain=1&page=2

          So I understand not being happy with the lawsuit, but i'm sure they a better use of their time now that they got their 15 minutes of PR fame would be to find a nice new logo.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            You should also consider that unlike the comparison made on the petition, Apple Inc owns many more trademarks than the well-known logo.

            I can't find a pear on any of those nine pages.

          2. Just Enough
            FAIL

            "everything, everywhere" trademark

            "trademark infringement does not require being a competitor of the brand"

            Yes it does. No-one gets a "everything, everywhere" trademark. For it to be an infringement they have to demonstrate that the infringer is competing in the same market, so that consumers may be confused/deceived.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "everything, everywhere" trademark

              "No-one gets a "everything, everywhere" trademark." unless they are a rich American company with lots of lawyers. Then they seem to get whatever they want. FTFY.

              OTOH, if The Donald keeps alienating every other country on the planet, the American legal system may soon find out how valid their opinion really is in the rest of the world. Good luck trying to force your own narrow self-interest on everyone when nobody's listening.

              1. Emir Al Weeq

                Re: "everything, everywhere" trademark

                >No-one gets a "everything, everywhere" trademark

                What about Everything Everywhere? They had one before changing their name to EE. Probably still own it

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: "everything, everywhere" trademark

                "OTOH, if The Donald keeps alienating every other country on the planet, the American legal system may soon find out how valid their opinion really is in the rest of the world. Good luck trying to force your own narrow self-interest on everyone when nobody's listening."

                Not relevant in this case. A registered trademark in one country has no or little legal standing in another country. You need to register your trademark everywhere you plan to use it. IIRC, Apple failed to get exclusivity on "iPad" in Chain because there was already a long-standing home grown product there called iPad.

                1. anonymousI

                  Re: "everything, everywhere" trademark

                  I think you should provide a link to that new country Chain...

          3. Cuddles Silver badge

            "A trademark infringement does not require being a competitor of the brand, so that part of your argument doesn't hold much water."

            Yes it does. Trademarks are not a general thing, they only exist for a specific set of products - 45 different groups under international rules, although of course local laws may differ. This is why, for example, the common complaint that it's silly for Cadbury to hold a trademark on the colour purple don't stand up - Cadbury don't own a trademark on purple, they own a trademark on that colour used to market a chocolate bar. You're free to brand your skydiving business with that exact colour and there's nothing Cadbury can do about it (nor should they want to, which is rather the point).

            In this case, Apple are a computer and software company, while the company their suing offers a meal planner. Now admittedly I don't know the exact details of what Apple has attempted to trademark and exactly which trademark groupings the two companies claim to operate under. But it should be pretty obvious that things like this are the exact reason such groupings exist in the first place, and the reason that even within a single grouping there's plenty of scope to ignore, without risk to your own trademarks, uses which clearly don't impact on your own services or brand.

            "As for the "look nothing whatsoever", really, that's not an argument at all, that's an opinion."

            Bollocks. This isn't some wishy-washy question of opinion, it's a factual arguement based on actually looking at the two logos. 1) Pear is a hollow outline, apple is solid colour. 2) Pear is green, apple is black. 3) Pear is whole, apple has bite. 4) Pear is one piece, apple has two separated parts. 5) Pear has stem, apple does not. 6) Orientation of whole is different. 7) Pear leaf is angled downwards along body of fruit, apple leaf is upwards at a jaunty angle. 8) They're completely different drawings of different objects which have nothing whatsoever in common other than being abstract images of objects which happen to fall under the broad grouping of "fruit", and this should not need explaining to any sane person.

            In addition, you may also note that, as stated in the article, the USPTO has already said that the pear logo does not infringe in any way on Apple's logo. This is not just my opinion, man, it's the legal opinion of the body charged with upholding patent law. On the other hand, the only people who apparently think the two logos are similar appear to be you, and Apple's lawyers.

          4. james_smith Silver badge

            "A trademark infringement does not require being a competitor of the brand, so that part of your argument doesn't hold much water."

            Bollocks. Apple (the computer company) were sued by Apple (the record label founded by the Beatles). It was agreed that Apple the computer company could keep the name as long as they stayed out of the market sectors the record label were in. How about Apple record label (or their successors) sue the f*ck out of Apple for iTunes? That would be amusing.

            1. Outski

              They did, a number of times. It was frequently reported on by this august organ. Reports are that Apple Computer bought out Apple Corps' trademark rights for haalf a billion USD, with Apple Corps retaining a license to usee them as they saw fit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They don't think it's a threat. However, a trademark must be actively protected, or else it's lost forever. Since Apple is hugely dependent on its picture branding, they have no choice but to prosecute."

        Utter codswallop. Whilst Apple are required to defend their trademark, this does not pass the "moron in a hurry" test (the test applied for "passing off" of trademarks in England and Wales), and thus defence of the mark is not required (I'm assuming the US has similar provisions/requirements).

        1. Richard Jones 1
          Joke

          @AC, you made a dangerous assumption. The US trademark body is not as bright as a moron in a hurry, while they comprise sub-optimal morons they are never in a hurry, since they are part of the US government and 'led' by the moron in chief, the often termed the so-called president, 'POTUS'.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            RE: so-called president, 'POTUS'

            Actually he's not really POTUS, he just plays one on TV.

            Been waiting forever for a chance to say that. The "he just plays one on TV" is an old line in commercials in the USA.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, hopefully then you'll provide your expertise as a trademark lawyer for free to the defendant. Since it's so easy, it won't cost much of your time to get it thrown out, as the UK's courts aren't the as bad as those in the US. I'll definitely drink to Apple losing :)

      3. DJV Silver badge

        You are Tim Cook and I claim my free Apple Mac Pro Wheels Kit.

        1. First Light Bronze badge

          You're all missing the point of these kinds of trademark filings - to keep the children of mediocre lawyers in private school and ensure Ivy League attendance.

          The US trademark law is what's known as a full-employment statute for lawyers.

          1. RM Myers Silver badge
            Unhappy

            The US trademark law is what's known as a full-employment statute for lawyers.

            Wait, I thought that was the job of the tax code/class action statutes/federal regulations/patent system/pretty much anything developed by lawyers (aka, most politicians and regulators) for the benefit of lawyers.

            1. First Light Bronze badge

              Re: The US trademark law is what's known as a full-employment statute for lawyers.

              The key word above is mediocre. Many other areas of law are more complex, especially patents which have their own separate bar exam in the US because the practice is so specialized.

              But yes, especially when the economy is tanking, expect to see merger-type corporate lawyers laid off and lots and lots of litigators being hired. Time to sue! Doesn't matter who!

      4. mego

        That's not the problem. The problem is that even if Pear wins, they'll be bankrupt by the lawsuit. And Apple most likely won't win this one; but they don't really care - all they care about is that they can destroy this small business who they know is not infringing on their copyright. And they choose to do so, in spite of the "right thing to do" being to acknowledge their design is not similar.

      5. Richard Cranium

        "People who don't like that should push credible trademark reforms to their elected representative, instead of the pointless "signing" of online petitions."

        Yes in a few more decades the elected representatives might act. Which side do you think Trump would take? Big businesses (i.e. political donors with deep pockets) or small?

        Trade marks and patents were introduced to protect the small guy, they've been turned around to become the tools the strong use against the weak. An individual innovator or small business can't afford the cost of trade marks or patents but has to assume designs will be ripped off. The only choice is to try to stay ahead by innovation - or just don't bother in the first place, you're on a hiding to nowhere. That's where the real economic damage arises, a chilling effect on innovation. The problem patents were intended to fix has become an obstacle to innovation.

        The global acceptance of the concepts of trade mark/patent/copyright makes it very difficult for any one nation to fix that - so which legislators anyway?

        I agree that signing petitions *alone* is of very little value so if you mean it do something positive too. Vote with your wallet; donate to the legal fund; buy better cheaper IT hardware/software from more ethical businesses; ensure all your purchases and investments are in ethical businesses (and check the criteria used to define "ethical" are in line with your interpretation).

        1. mego

          "Yes in a few more decades the elected representatives might act. Which side do you think Trump would take? "

          Much as I hate turning anything into a political discussion, and clearly you have issues with our current one, there's a maximum of two terms per president equaling 8 years. In one decade we'd already be approaching the end of the second term of the next president. Just FYI...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bully

    This is just one more reason to loath Apple with their over-priced glittery trash. This is nothing less then bullying. The logo is nothing like theirs. Did they go after Apricot Computers, back in the day. Why not? It's fruit, after all, isn't it?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot_Computers

    They might just as well sue tinned fruit companies for having a picture of their product on the can or drinks that use apples. Madness.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Bully

      Thanks for the memory - I was probably the only 15 year old in the UK with an Apricot computer in their bedroom. Won by my Dad at some trade show. There were no games, so I had no idea what to do with it!

    2. DS999

      Re: Bully

      It sounds like Apricot changed their name after they entered the home computer industry. I think Apple was justified in going after them, they were a lot smaller then and the potential for confusion (both 'a' name fruits, with a fruit logo) was pretty easy to see.

      Going after Pear makes no sense. They aren't in the same business as Apple (other than "selling apps" I guess) and while their logo is "a fruit" it isn't similar beyond that.

      This lawsuit just makes them look bad, maybe their legal team should need to run lawsuits by PR and do an analysis of the potential harm between not filing the suit, and the reputational loss from filing the suit. If it is true they need to file a suit to defend their trademark, they could prevent the harm of making themselves look bad by explaining that in a press release and paying the legal costs for the other side.

      1. not.known@this.address Silver badge

        Re: Bully

        Downvoted for the comment "I think Apple was justified in going after them..."

        No. No way. If Apricot had tried to say "Buy us, we're as good as Apple but cheaper" then Apple should take them to court for false advertising (unless they really were as good but cheaper...), but just because they have a similar name is NOT justification for screwing somebody else over just because you can. Oh sorry, "because they are a threat to your business".

        You don't see airlines trying to sue each other over "stealing" words like 'Airways' or 'Airlines' because that would be absolutely stupid. So why should Apple be allowed to challenge anyone for having a fruit-based name?

        That's how you get McDonalds the American junkfood producer suing McDonalds the bookshop over fears that customers might mistake thin sticks of potato and a small piece of meat with a limp lettuce leaf, a piece of tomato and a fragment of dill pickle in a badly-sliced bun for the collected works of Charles Dickens or Enid Blyton...

        1. james_smith Silver badge

          Re: Bully

          I was responsible for a bunch of Apricot servers in one job. They were more sophisticated and cheaper than any of the Apple products at the time, which is unsurprising when you know how crude both the Macintosh hardware and software were. Apple ceased to be a vendor of decent hardware when they effectively ended Wozniak's line of computers with the Apple IIGS.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Bully

      I suggest that any of us, or anyone you know, create a letterhead with some generic fruit* as its logo and write a letter on it to Apple's legal department asking if this logo they see on the letter could, in their eyes, be deemed to infringe. If you get a reply, do a tiny alteration to the image and send the letter back to say 'will this change do?' and keep doing it until they tell you to stop. I figure if a few million letters were coming into Apple's legal department every week, frivolously wasting their time, it might make them reflect.

      * or, indeed, of anything

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Go away Kid

    We are the bully with billions of $, we can break your business as we wish if you dare to move a finger.

    We'll destroy you. Because we can. We love that. It's in our genes.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple should go after Nickelodeon, they have pear phones, pear tablets in multiple shows, i always thought that they were apple phones and tablets, cos looks exactly the same, being pear shaped, just though they were stupid and couldn't tell the difference between and apple and a pear. /s

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about the Simpsons? Their take on the Apple logo is two bites out of an Apple.

      Rounded corners all over again......

    2. RM Myers Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Apple has found out the hard way that you don't necessarily win when you go after the big boys. Much better to pick on little guys, AKA, standard bully behavior.

  9. Flak
    Flame

    Fruit salad?

    Crazy - claiming that an ordinary consumer could associate the Prepear logo with Apple.

    Not the same fruit, not the same shape, no 'bite', solid vs. outline, fruit (and leaf) at different angles, the threat of confusion or brand dilution is tenuous at best.

    Hopefully someone at the patent and trade mark office will see sense.

    (judging by the 352 page document the lawyers must be getting paid by the word)

    1. Daniel Bower

      Paid per word

      As a slight aside you may not be far wrong - at least historically. Lawyers did charge per weight of the file and one London law firm still does or at least did until recently (can't recall the name but it is one of the old school and very expensive ones!). It is also where 'weigh the evidence' comes from. You could quite literally be found guilty if the prosecution evidence had enough physical heft to it

      1. General Purpose

        Re: Paid per word

        "It is also where 'weigh the evidence' comes from. You could quite literally be found guilty if the prosecution evidence had enough physical heft to it."

        No. The metaphor of weight predates turning up in court with large bundles, and even the English language. Judges and juries don't and didn't get out scales and weigh lever-arch files, or scrolls, with or without scroll handles, although that would have been wonderfully dramatic and left a massive imprint on historical accounts, novels, romances and epics. That statue of blind justice with scales on the Old Bailey isn't to be taken literally.

        Oh, and lawyers figured out how to charge high prices long before they went into court with great bundles.

  10. riffrafff

    The last Apple product I bought was a Newton Messagepad. This kind of juvenile bullying makes me glad I'm not part of the Apple ecosystem.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a test

    Could you sell someone an "iphone" or "macbook" adorned with this pear logo, by convincing them the device was a genuine Apple product on the basis of the logo?

    Thought not.

    I mean, I'm sure there are people who would buy fake apple kit, even if decorated with a slightly off logo in the hope they would nevertheless impress their mates/cow-orkers/etc, but apple-ly (or unapple-ly) this logo pears no resemblance!

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Here's a test

      Even worse, they're not even in the computer market. They sell... fruit.

      If anything, apple should lose their name for misappropriation of a term outside their field...

      Or, if they think an apple looks too similar to a pear, they shouldn't have used what they obviously see as a generic icon in the first place.

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Naked Genius Bar

    "Apple has imported clothes – probably uniforms for staff in stores – from a company facing US sanctions over forced labour at a subsidiary firm in China’s western Xinjiang region, shipping records show."

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/10/apple-imported-clothes-from-xinjiang-firm-facing-us-forced-labour-sanctions

    I wonder if the tags on the uniforms state "Designed by Apple in California"

    1. james_smith Silver badge

      Re: Naked Genius Bar

      "Designed by Apple in California ... made by slave labour in China".

  13. Withdrawn

    meal planner and grocery list app

    What's the over/under on apple releasing their own version of this once Prepear has been thoroughly destroyed through litigation?

  14. Franco Silver badge

    SLAPP lawsuit if ever I saw one, let's hope that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver picks this one up because I'd very much like to see Apple receive a similar musical number to Bob Murray.

  15. 45RPM

    How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

    It seems to me that Apple, as all huge businesses are, is deeply schizophrenic.

    On the one hand, you have engineers, graphic designers, scientists and so forth who are genuinely trying to produce the best product that they can (it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, there is no disputing that the quality is there).

    On the other hand, you have lawyers desperately trying to justify their inflated salaries. I very much doubt that anyone in senior management signed off on this (and if they did, they should be fired immediately for bringing Apple into disrepute). I suspect a lawyer overreached and now senior management are trying to find the best way to extricate themselves from this mess with minimum egg on face (and fire the imbecile concerned).

    Of course, the way out is obvious to anyone outside the situation. Apologise. Immediately. Make amends. And ensure that it NEVER happens again. Failure to do this makes everyone at Apple look like a dickhead, regardless of whether or not they’re the guilty party.

    1. First Light Bronze badge

      Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

      It was an outside law firm from North Carolina that filed the opposition. These kinds of cases are the bread and butter of dumb lawyers who aren't smart enough to practice more intellectually challenging areas of law.

      1. 45RPM

        Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

        What were they doing acting on Apple's behalf? At some point the buck stops with Apple, surely?

        1. First Light Bronze badge

          Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

          Yes, they will get instructions from Apple's in-house counsel, but it's quite the symbiotic relationship. The law was written to require defense of the mark, not as a result of profound jurisprudential philosophizing, but as a tactic to get more work for lawyers. The ABA is good to its members.

    2. Mike Rowesoft

      Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

      "On the one hand, you have engineers, graphic designers, scientists and so forth who are genuinely trying to produce the best product that they can (it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, there is no disputing that the quality is there)."

      Louis Rossman might have something to say about that !..

      1. 45RPM

        Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

        Quality ≠ Repairability. You can have something of appalling quality which is highly repairable - and vice versa.

        In my view, a product should be of high quality, highly repairable, highly performance, and affordable - without causing harm to the environment or to any of the people involved in its manufacture. And now I’d like to have my beer delivered by a Valkyrie riding on a rainbow tailed unicorn.

        1. SuperGeek

          Re: How about saying ‘Sorry’, Apple?

          "You can have something of appalling quality which is highly repairable"

          Ah, right. Appalling quality! I thought you said APPLE quality that is repairable! Apple? Quality? Repairable? Nah, they don't fit together!

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Dodged a bullet

    Bet they are glad they never went with 'Easy-iPrepear-R-Us'.

  17. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Not the first, won't be the last...

    There's a company that makes underwear with a symmetrical pineapple logo on them. Their name eludes me at the moment, but it's surprising apple hasn't gone after them too. JJ Malibu?

    1. PerlyKing Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

      I think my favourite example of overzealous trademark defence was when Triumph the bra maker sued Triumph the motorcycle maker for having the same name. As I recall the judge made some fairly pithy remarks about there not being much danger of confusion, and threw that one out with extreme prejudice!

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

        Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

        An anecdote of the opposite conclusion -- two companies, one started as the subsidiary of the other, still coexisting and using the same name and logo without issue: Yamaha Corp. (musical instruments, audio/electronics, and the like) and Yamaha Motor Co. (motorcycles, ATVs, jetskis, etc.). The former still owns ~10% of the latter.

        I can imagine some genuine confusion between the two -- especially with the outdoor power industry embracing electronics -- but the Y companies just don't care.

        1. First Light Bronze badge

          Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

          The Yamaha logos for the different businesses are in different colours and slightly different in design. This in fact raises the issue of whether they are weakening their own mark by doing so. That's another day's discussion, and the issues will only arise likely as a defense against Yamaha claiming someone is infringing one of the marks.

          https://www.yamaha.com/en/about/history/logo/

          1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

            Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

            At first glance, especially on the products (logo tends to be monochrome, not in color), the layperson isn't going to pick out the "slight" differences.

            Being a drummer, I for one think the triple-drumstick is pretty neat. (At least that's what I see. "When all you have is a hammer…")

            1. Santa from Exeter

              Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

              Close, they are tuning forks. I knew about the motorcycles before the musical instruments and wondered at the logo

      2. rnturn

        Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

        Whatever happened to the insane suit that McDonalds filed against a mom-n-pop sandwich shop named "MacDonald's" in Scotland?

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Efer Brick
    Coat

    I hope the win any appeel

    couldn't'elp it guv

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll be going after Funassyi the pear mascot next.

    https://youtu.be/T7xJ-Ngq5CU

  20. Paul 195
    Mushroom

    Might is right

    Apple Computer is a repeat offender when it comes to trademark violations. Apple Corps, the record label started by the Beatles, complained about Apple and their use of an apple shaped logo back in the 1970s. The eventual settlement was that Apple Computers could keep the name and logo, provided they didn't go into the music business. Apple Computer then violated that agreement on two more occasions: https://sites.udel.edu/cisc356/2014/04/21/apple-corps-v-apple-computer-1978-2006/

    Hypocrisy scarcely comes close to describing Apple's behaviour.

  21. Bertieboy

    Perhaps the time has come to bring in an "abuse your trademark and risk losing it" rule.

    Obscene bullying on the part of Apple (or any other megacorp) should have real consequences.

  22. mark l 2 Silver badge

    If Apple believes it looks anything like their logo they have been eating some pretty weird shaped apples, as that is clearly a pear! AFAIK they don't own any trademarks to do with pears.

    We need to get Joe Lycett on the case he will probably legally change his name to Apple computers so he can troll them, just like he did with Hugo Boss. Who eventually backed down on their campaign against Boss Brewery after he got involved on his Channel 4 show.

  23. chivo243 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Pressure from Apple?

    Funny, the photo for this article earlier was half a rotting apple with a bite mark out of it... Now it's a pumpkinish apple carving?

  24. mego

    And they'll continue doing so...

    Until all the fanboys stop buying their crap.

  25. rnturn

    Fruit Logos?

    Apple's legal department apparently has its undies in a bunch over things with leaves.

  26. David 132 Silver badge
    Coat

    I am already confused.

    I bought an iphone and bluetooth earbuds and was disappointed that they didn’t come prepeared.

    Seriously though. What the hell, Apple? Just let it lie. This is not a good look for any large company.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy from smaller companies NOT Apple

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely so they say and in the case of a growing number of large corporations they seem to get hell bent on destroying small companies, just in case one day they might become a threat.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop feeding the beast. Do not buy Apple kit.

  28. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Gimp

    What does it say about Apple's attitude towards its customers' intelligence if it thinks that the two logos can be confused?

    1. Mike Rowesoft

      Expecting people to cough up $950 for a stand and $650 for wheels , i think its pretty clear what crapple think of their customers intelligence !....

    2. John Bailey

      That they are over estimating it?

      1. Mike Rowesoft

        "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people"

        Im quoting the original, its definitely not only Americans thats for sure...i have no beef with America so dont go hating on me !

  29. jason_derp Bronze badge

    So this leaf..

    I just want to double check, but the leaves are both at right angles, but not in regards to the fruit, right? Like, there's a hypothetical oblique line that intersects the leaf and then forms the right angle they're talking about? Because I double checked what a right angle is, and unless they mean it in a way where all othe angles are wrong angles, that's the only reasonable option.

  30. Neoc

    Do the USA have the concept of Letigious Pests? Where the judge deems one company (or lawyer) to be so ridiculous in the suits they bring to court that they are barred from doing so again?

    I would love for Apple to receive a judgement which basically stated "Yep, you've gone overboard one time too many. You are no longer allowed to bring logo-infringement lawsuits to court".

    1. Franco Silver badge

      See my earlier comment about SLAPP lawsuits.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation#United_States

      Some US states have anti-SLAPP legislation but not all.

  31. big_D Silver badge

    Apple's lawyers

    are too full of themselves. Looking at the logos, they are nothing like each other and there is no way I'd confuse a pear for an apple!

    Get over yourselves, idiots!

  32. sebacoustic

    Cherry

    What about the Cherry (keyboard) brand? Surely that's ripe for the picking. I mean, Fruit, tick, leaf, tick, computer product, tick. OK they have apparently been going a lot longer than Apple (thanks, Wikipedia) but since when has that stopped Apple? They claimed the iPad trademark off someone else, too.

    1. Mike Rowesoft

      Re: Cherry

      A cherry would look far more similar to an apple than the pear in this instance !..

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Cherry

        Yes, but Cherry gets away with it, because their logo is three red cherries on green stalks, with a leaf between them.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Only Apple

    Back in early 2000’s

    I worked on a software suite to support the transition from VB6 to .net & sql.

    The names were VBOffice & DBOffice the resignations we’re opposed by lawyers for a Mr & Mrs Beckham as it could effect their brand, the cost to fight it was expected to top £50,000 needless to say WE backed down.

    1. james_smith Silver badge

      Re: Not Only Apple

      To be fair, I don't think I'd like to be associated with VB6.

  34. Nifty Silver badge

    What would happen

    if a record label with a fruit-type theme tried to sell its wares or stream via Apple? One with a really big classic band in its catalogue like The Beatles?

  35. Waspy

    Acorn Computers

    Sad we never got to see Apple vs Acorn

  36. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Coat

    Recipe sharing

    Does the app let you share recipes over a Pear-to-Pear network?

    Mine’s the greengrocer’s white coat —->

  37. richardalm

    And btw Mr. Cook -- pay your effing taxes!

    My wife is shopping for a new tablet and was considering an iPad. It would have been her first Apple gadget. But after bringing this tale of cheap corporate bullyism to her attention, deciding became much easier. The hardware and software simply aren't special enough for soul selling and the company's culture is rotten to its core. What else is there to know?

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: And btw Mr. Cook -- pay your effing taxes!

      'Rotten to its core'.

      I see what you did there.

  38. Sulky

    Apple are just insulting everyone, even my children.

    So the argument is that Apple think people will mistake one logo for the other. Now I'm no scientist, and I know many of you will question my methods and controls in this experiment but I only have 2 2 year old twins. I did however show them the logos separately and in different rooms so there was no chance of cross contamination of the results or influences over answers. Both my twins correctly identified the Prepear logo asa Pear and the Apple logo as an Apple.

    I should sell the services of my twins for these types of situations, given Apple's record on employment the use of child labour shouldn't be an ethical issue for them.

  39. Demosthenes Locke

    Someone needs to go back to geometry class at Apple. Their own leaf is not "right angled". It's angled TO THE RIGHT, but it's actually at a 45-degree angle, not a 90-degree angle. Considering that Prepear's logo has a leaf TO THE RIGHT, this may be what they actually meant, a leaf angled to the right, not a leaf at a right angle.

    That should be a defense point for Prepear -- Apple doesn't understand angles.

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      You mean you've got to hold it the right-angled way?

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Acute pun, but now you’re just being obtuse.

  40. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Pint

    Probably jealousy motivated...

    Whoever thought of Prepear deserves a lot more than one of these------>

    First class name.

    Let's hope common-sense reigns, before it is too late.

  41. Jonjonz

    What Better Proof Our Legal System is Borked

    What better proof that our legal system is borked when if you pay enough lawyers to argue the Prepear logo looks too much like the Apple logo, and not have it thrown out of court at the first try.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just noticed an ad on TV last night that should interest Amazon's lawyers...

    Colgate tootpaste's 'smile' logo looks very like Amazon's 'smile' logo minus the '>'

    (just look them up on Amazon)

  43. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Just checking -

    I'm thinking of writing an app that sends advance warnings every time Apple behaves like a bunch of over zealous arse-hats - anyone know if they've trademarked 'iC*nt' yet?

  44. vargula
    Holmes

    Apple v Apple

    Still think Apple (the Beatles Apple) should have won against this bunch of Californian upstarts. The universally loved popsters had Magic Alex on side, and he had been building computers since the middle ages (or so he said). Actually I think the mops got $50-100m which aint bad for a Granny Smith (cue pop quiz question).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

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