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back to article Apple chokes on Woolworths logo

Apple has moved to prevent Oz retailer Woolworths from trademarking a logo - something which would allow it to "slap its branding and logo on every imaginable product", as The Age puts it. The Woolworths and Apple logos The problem is, according to Apple, that Woolies' brand frontage is too close to its own. Woolworths' …

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Prior Art

Apple Corp, the beatles record label were using an Apple as a trademark waaaaay before Steve Jobs had even heard of a computer.

I hope this is as full of fail as most Mac trademark grabs.

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How retarded

do Apple think their customers are if they might confuse those two logos?

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Get a better name

I'm going to start a new company. It's going to be called 'Easy McApple.' The revenue stream will be based on betting who will sue us first...

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Wow

Wow, Oz still has Woolworths ! Perhaps they could come and re-open some of the British stores for us and show us how it's done.

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Woolies revenge...

...for those multicoloured gumdrop iMacs.

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Jobs Horns

I hope Woolworths told Apple

to kind fuck off.

Remind me again why are they so highly rated?

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Joke

I think it is...

.. about time that strong action was taken against those companies whose name and logo bear no resemblance to the product(s) they are selling.

Hence, Apple will need to prove that it's major business is in growing and selling Apples (the fruit) - failure to do so will render their name and logo null and void !

MicroSoft will be forced to change to "World Domination Software" or WoDoSo.

Google to "TheRealBigBrother(be afraid, very afraid)"

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WTF?

FFS

either they laywers are on crack, or they've started to belive their own marketing / patent bullshit.

Next they want to ban the certain letters of the french and german alphabet as they have a circly bits and some above them.

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FAIL

muppets

I think the Oz people will be sticking two fingers up to apple and giving woolies the go ahead as it looks nothing like there logo. get a grip apple

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There's fun to be had...

...if we can get Sir Paul and Ringo to give Woolworths the thumbs up.

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Paging Mr Mcartney...

Woolies sell records, right?

Apple Corps sued Apple computer about apple selling music, right?

So will the ex-beatle now sue woolies?

Oh, and Woolworths? What was wrong with the old red-and-gold W? Has the British debacle devalued it? our local peddler of cheap frozen foods still has the glass panels in the front with the big W on them.

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I canse Apple's point

It's not just an apple but one with a bite taken out of it.

Woolworth's don't sell half-eaten fruit, does it?

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

iTwats.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Jimmy Floyd

"I'm going to start a new company. It's going to be called 'Easy McApple.' The revenue stream will be based on betting who will sue us first..."

I like that so much that I'm going to steal it for my email .sig. If you don't like that you can sue me :-)

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Jobs Horns

Comparing apples with oranges

"they would have to take action against every fruit-seller"

Especially those that take a bite out of the apple before putting it on display.

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Jobs Horns

Jobby

I remember reading somewhere that Apple chose their name and logo in 'homage' to Apple Records - and so from the outset chose to live in a namespace with more than one company with their name and logo.

Funny how they don't remember that themselves....

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Trademark Specificity

Itdoeslook as though the lawyer you quoted didn't know what they were talking about. What Apple said, about computers, seemed quite sensible, based on other cases. Australian law of course, but if Apple can move into the music business, Oz Woolworths can make computers, and other trademark holders will have reason to be a bit picky.

Besides, don't Apple, under trademark law, have to do something in this case.

.

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Coat

Font Madness

Next up, Apple suing the creators of Most Fonts, for δ and Ó, which can all be misconstrued as apples to a deranged mind. ώ will be next, once this Woolworths business is sorted.

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WTF?

I eagerly await the day...

... that iApple gets royally shafted for this (yet another) attempt at trying to lay claim to every image of an apple that has ever existed. As EddieD said, Apple don't even sell apples. They can't stop the people that do sell apples advertising the fact.

Comparing the two logos is like comparing two cars... that each have four wheels and doors. That doesn't make them the same, or even remotely similar.

Get off your bleached ivory tower, iApple, and have a bowl of fruit. Maybe then you'll get some colour in your life and see the light.

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Woolies in Oz

Woolies in Australia sells groceries, fruit, veg, meat, booze, canned goods, etc.....oh and other handy homely bits and pieces found in any modern supermarket. And maybe a few DVDs, and some low-cost, Chinese made, electrical goods etc.

The logo reminds me of fruit, pretty much what they sell.

http://www.woolworths.com.au/

Apple are rotten.

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WTF?

@Anonymous John

"I canse Apple's point"

"It's not just an apple but one with a bite taken out of it."

That's the Apple one...

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Go

Just turn the Woolworth stem to the left!

That would solve everything!

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But it IS actually the Apple logo...

As funny as it all is, the Woolies logo IS the Apple logo, but in green....

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Will they be stopping...

...any company with a fruit based logo?

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Stop

Hmmm..

Well, they certainly look different to me. But the designers of Woolies' new logo have definitely made the logo look like some sort of apple. Quite why, I don't know. I'm sure Oz has much more interesting fruit. Perhaps it's a Bible thing.

Still, we can't be surprised at Apple for taking action. All big companies do it. After all, M$ took action against Mike Rowe when he set up his online software store, Mike Rowe Soft (search the archives - it's in here somewhere).

Woolies should know better, Apple do what they always do, the World keeps turning.....

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Paris Hilton

My childh δ δd has been st δlen

δ and Ó, what these are not apple logos?

next you'll be telling me there is no such person as father christmas or the cat in the hat.

paris: as i wouldnt mind abusing her logo

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Alert

Apple thinks it owns the word pod too....

Strangely enough our directors are fighting off a simular challenge relating to our use of a word in our product range that can mean a container of many smaller items, despite our markets and products being quite different from Apples typical customers and products.

Somehow, i think my bosses are stuborn enough to go to court, since he was stubborn enough to return his iPhone because of this.

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Happy

@ Jimmy Floyd

£5 on Disney

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This isn't the Woolies you're looking for...

Bad news for the nostalgics in this thread. The Oz Woolies has no relation (and never did) to the original American Woolworths or its British offshoot. They just snapped up the name in the 1920s and used it themselves when they found out it wasn't already registered in Australia(!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Limited#History

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Apple

Fruitcake

With nuts

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Coffee/keyboard

LOL

@y Jimmy Floyd Posted Monday 5th October 2009 10:12 GMT

You Sir, owe me a new keyboard! (starts trying to clear redbull from said keyboard)

:-)

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How about the Hamas logo?

http://media.nowpublic.net/images//0d/8/0d88afe5ec84a3cdea6bd43000fc265e.jpg

Are Apple going to sue them next?

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WTF?

@Gordon Pryra

Are you on drugs?

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Lawyers

Sadly this will be just another round of lawyers trying to justify their existence. Some firm of US lawyers will have already billed Apple for an insane amount of money to start this. But Woolworth's lawyers won't be telling them to sod off. Far from it. They will be advising Woolworth's management of the seriousness of the threat, and the need to spend huge amounts on yet more lawyers fees (their's) to address the threat. In response the US lawyers will lick their lips and draw up a hugely expensive plan of action and advise Apple of the need to move forward with it forthwith. End result? Lawyers in both countries buy new holiday villias in the Bahamas. It is great work if you can get it.

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Coat

All we need is...

Guy Goma to come and talk about this on BBC News again :)

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curly green thing

The curly green W is quite a nice logo but if they're selling electronics, including MP3 players and computers, it's not obvious why they need to put a stalk on it unless the intention IS to make it suggestive of the Apple logo. At the very least they could have the stalk pointing the other way to make it clear it's different.

The way trademark protection works is Apple have no choice but to challenge competing uses. If they don't defend their logo they use the rights to use it themselves.

As for Apple vs Apple Corps (the Beatles music publisher), Apple were on the receiving end of precisely this sort of challenge themselves in a couple of well publicised legal challenges, which they settled out of court. The point is moot as to where the name and logo originally came from. You can buy and sell trademark and Apple *paid* the Beatles in order to be able to use the trademark relating to the music business, so now it's theirs. (That's also when they changed their name from Apple Computer Inc to plain Apple Inc.)

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Precendent? Use the one Apple set for em!

Living in Oz I have actually seen the woolies apple shaped logo in action, it is 100% linked to fresh food, the jingle for woolies in Oz is "Woolies, the fresh food people." Now Apple got around the Beatles trademark problem by simply pointing out that the Beatles sold Music and Apple sold computers (ignoring for now iTunes and the Apple Music Shop). To argue against Woolies using thier logo to sell fresh food would be to argue against their own argument that let them use the apple in their trademark.

Now to iTunes and et al. When apple started selling music (despite having promised never to do so, the Beatles didn't want two Apple logos in the music industry) there was a big court case, surely we all remember that? In fact the Beatles lost that case, the summary was thus;

"But Mr Justice Anthony Mann ruled that the computer company used the Apple logo in association with its store, not the music, and so was not in breach."

So Woolworth simply needs to dredge up the details of this case and argue that their green curly Apple logo is used in association with their store, and not any computer hardware it may sell, using Apples own court case as precedent. I can't imagine Woolies lawyers are idiots and since Apple themselves have already set the precedent I smell a big fail coming Apples way!

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Happy

@Jimmy Floyd - Easy McApple

Absolutely sterling comment!

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Jobs Halo

I can see their point.

That leaf is pointing in the SAME DIRECTION! That's not appropriate.

I'm confused... It's like... . . .seeing . . . double. . .

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Big Brother

The real story

Understand that the I.P. attorneys have to justify their stupidly large annual billing by demonstrating to the Board of Directors just how much "money" they "saved" the company by rigorously defending the company's I.P.

It doesn't matter if it badgering teenagers that appropriated their trademark for their Apple fan page with "Cease and Desist" letters, or going after a "hackintosh" manufacturer. That's why stupid things like this end up in the news. It doesn't have to make much of any sense at all, it just has to sound good at the end of the fiscal year.

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Looks like sour grapes to me..

No. Not the logos, the attitude of Apple computers. The Woollies logo is FAR better looking than that silvery blue monstrosity next to it IMHO.

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FAIL

Maybe Woolworth's should buy Apple records

and reopen the suit based on Apple's reasoning.

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Stop

Take a Deep Breath People!

Rolf Howarth and Steve Brooks seem to be in the minority of people who properly understand the situation.

The argument which Apple are presenting is that Woolworths may use the logo on electrical items and _at that point_ the logo similarities may cause confusion. This is why Apple Inc. did not have to settle with Apple Records _until the former started selling music_. Prior to that point, they were operating in completely different spaces so there was no scope for confusion.

Apple, like any company, must defend their trademarks in order to preserve brand identity. Now that Apple have brought this action, it falls to Woolworths to convince a judge that they will not be using the logo in association with any electrical items. And if they don't, but decide to do so at a later date, Apple can go after them for breaking this promise (in the same way that Apple Records went after Apple Inc. when they entered the music selling business - as they had already won a ruling which prevented Apple (Computers) Inc from doing so).

So, Woolworths will be free to use the logo provided that they do not apply it to electrical goods, and Apple needs to ensure that this ruling is passed as early as possible.

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Logo for 'Easy McApple'

The logo for 'Easy McApple' would be am Orange coloured Apple with a bite taken out of it sitting in front on a big yellow M! (c) C Evans 2009

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Joke

so I was passing my grocery store

... And saw these fantasically real 3D apple logos arranged outside, so I inquired within about laptops. Never understood why the salesman checked the coast was clear, but he produced a nice shiny laptop from a bag under the counter, and I duly paid my money. You can image how horrified I was when it didn't boot into OSX... i'm off to phone trading standards!!

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Pint

@Jimmy Floyd

Classic. Though if you added a few more companies names together in there you could have a better business model :)

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Unhappy

apples and oranges

Does this mean I am going to have to change my apple logo for my apple company to an orange?

:(

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Happy

@SkippyBing

I know how retarded *I* think they are...

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Prior art

Ò ó ð é

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Grenade

so it's just me that sees aj jazeera logo?

http://english.aljazeera.net/

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