back to article This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

If you thought Apple patenting the rectangle was a gratuitous abuse of intellectual property, you may be pained to hear that Apple has now applied to trademark a leaf. Specifically, Apple wants to protect the leaf on its company logo. Apple applied for to the European Trademark Registry on 3 December, with the help of London …

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Vic
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Re: Oh for gawds sake

> but then shout at the politicians making the rules that let them do it.

To a very large extent, the politicians *don't* make rules that lets the USPTO issue such crap patents.

They just do it anyway...

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

They should be forced to market audio tape, with paper covers, until it hurts, just to prove they''re not bluffing about this special *new* market segment and the need for a trademark. Maybe Memorex can sell them some skanky old tape production line gear ;)

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Happy

...and if they did....

...Stephen Fry and his minions would all rush out and buy it, saying how wonderful and innovative it was, and how it changed their lives.

And they'd probably make a profit on it.

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Re: ...and if they did....

Audio tape... Sony were going to package their first audio cassettes in yellow, but changed their mind out of respect for Kodak, who had been packaging their consumables in yellow for some time- Sony saw Kodak as being pioneering in their consistent use of one colour to distinguish their brand. Sony went with red.

National Geographic use a Yellow Frame, Bass a Red Equilateral triangle.

>Stephen Fry and his minions would all rush out and buy it, saying how wonderful and innovative it was, and how it changed their lives.

And if Douglas Adams were still alive, he's be with them. Hell, once was a time people would lie in bed and worry about the Mongol Hordes, Communists, The Scottish,The French, Catholics or Spanish Armadas... but Stephen Fry's Minions? Seek counselling.

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Anonymous Coward

Going down in my opinion

As an iOS app developer they are seriously losing respect in my eyes

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Unhappy

Re: Going down in my opinion

As a Newton(TM) developer they long ago lost my respect.

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Big Brother

Let's get the Fanbois in a lather...

But what could this be a trademarked logo for?

1. A device that, effectively in terms of fashion, turns brown and withers in Autumn/Fall and needs renewing every year? (like the iPhone, the one before that and the one before that etc...)

2. A thin surface created from wood pulp upon which marks can be made using deposit leaving instruments?(note to my patent and trademark lawyers, register iPen, iPencil, iCrayon etc asap... what I'm too late?)

3. A new concept of a trait inherited or adopted from ancestor or mentor, especially with regards to old books?

4. A fanboi credit card by Apple - so they get interest as well as the rest of the fanboi's money.

(why the icon? you had to be there in 1984...)

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Re: Let's get the Fanbois in a lather...

It's going to go on a hat for a laptop

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Anonymous Coward

footwear

just how close is that shape to one of the three leafs used by Adidas for several decades?

hmmm and Adidas also make watches... as in jewellery....

And that logo is definitely a registered trademark.

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Re: footwear

Close, but not the same. Adidas' 'leaves' are slightly longer, even if they weren't divided by three parallel lines. Apple's application isn't for any 'filled space defined by two arcs with different foci', just this specific one.

I haven't heard of any complaints of Adidas using 'three parallel lines' as a trademark, which is even easier to define using words.

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Thumb Down

They are certainly taking a leaf of faith.

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WTF?

What's the big deal?

Google also trademarked the "g", but didn't see it making the news.

Source: http://www.inovia.com/products/directory/trademarks-number-85675928/g-trademark-owned-by-google-inc

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Re: What's the big deal?

Google have not trademarked the letter g. That would be ridiculous. As can be clearly seen, the mark consists of a lower case G on a square background. The lower case g is also a specific font.

The leaf is just a simple geometric shape.

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Re: What's the big deal?

>The leaf is just a simple geometric shape.

What isn't?

Bass

National Geographic

Blaupunkt

Nike

HSBC

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FAIL

Re: What's the big deal?

Exactly. There is no big deal. This article is click bait to bring out the flaming anti-Apple crowd. It has been highly successful in generating 120+ comments, most of which indicate that the commentard hadn't read the article and/or doesn't know what a trademark is, and/or why it is different to a patent or design patent.

This article may have set a new record in moronic postings by people whose intellect and/or state of mind is seriously questionable.

The register has generated their "clicks" and ad revenue for ads I have never seen nor will see has been suitably generated.

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Re: What's the big deal?

Bass does not have a trademark on a red triangle. The name forms part of the context. Hence the name "Bass red triangle" http://www.burton-on-trent.org.uk/category/miscellany/bass-logo

National Geographic do not have a trademark on an orange rectangle. There is other context.

The Nike tick is clearly very stylised and therefore distinctive. It is not a simple geometric shape.

Blaupunkt, as previously noted here, does not have a trademark on a blue circle. There is other context.

HSBC does not have a trademark on a single triangle. Their grouping of a set of triangles is distinctive.

Next time try checking before down voting.

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FAIL

Hmm, that reminds me of the amber light on a London taxi that has been tilted 45 degrees.

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Happy

If your taxi's tilted 45 degrees, you have more problems than this trademark...

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The weird thing

The weird thing is this leaf is asymmetrical around the SW/NE axis, while the leaf on the Apple logo on my phone is symmetrical around both axes.

And why trademark the leaf alone, when it's not currently a trademark? This suggests a rebranding, or an alternate branding. I think someone's missed the story here.

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FAIL

Old Adidas Logo

Isnt this nearly similar to the old adidas logo - which had 3 ovals - ok they are not solid but look very similar and are part of the fashion section of the patent

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tossers

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Royal Mail claims 'the colour red' as a registered trade mark!

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aw man got there first by minutes :(

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TRT
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And there's Cadbury Purple and Barbie Pink...

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Kodak Yellow, BP spent millions about 15 years ago changing their colour of green from 'vivid' to 'natural'. Colours- there are millions to choose from.

Much like geometric shapes. This leaf shape is created by two arcs, whose respective foci are a distance from each other that can be expressed with respect to the radius of the two arcs, and the angle of the axis on which these two arcs lie. Change one of those numbers and you have a different shape.

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Re: Royal Mail claims 'the colour red' as a registered trade mark!

As does Coca-Cola

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And Orange have trademarked - erm - orange - which is a completely different shade from the trademark orange for EasyJet. But just to settle that, the company's did spend a fortune on lawyers fighting over a Pantone chart.

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WTF?

I've seen worse, admittedly it takes some beating but got there..

I was in a post office collecting a parcel and after boredom-reading a poster even to the small print underneath, saw there was a trademark notice on that specific colour of red registered to the royal mail..

...THE COLOUR RED

(icon possibly infringes)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've seen worse, admittedly it takes some beating but got there..

In Germany they have Deutsche Post yellow.

A bloke I know who paints planes for a living said they had to redo a fleet, 'cos the German company that owned them had chosen a yellow that was thought to be too close to that and their lawyers failed to convince the German courts otherwise.

A very expensive mistake.......

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Anonymous Coward

This is a troll article with loads of poor comments showing people just don't understand how trademarks work. Given the website I'm on, I'm not surprised by this.

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Anonymous Coward

Just because something works one way, it doesn't mean it should.

People have put up with gear sticks in cars for many years, they are very common, and they are still a very stupid idea (a stick you can waggle while going along that makes the gearbox break...no really).

The same with trademark law. If it has now deteriorated to allowing this sort of thing, it needs changing.

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WTF?

If by "deteriorated" you mean "allows people to register trademarks" then it's been this "broken" for quite some time...

There are many examples of marks that have been registered that are simple shapes. The point is that these shapes, after much use, become an identifying feature in their own right and become a symbol that people recognise and (if you're lucky) trust. The way you protect these marks is to register them, thus preventing other people from abusing the recognition and value you have built up by using the mark on their own products.

This really isn't that sinister. If anything, you'd have to be asking why they've registered this mark now. Could it be that there is a new product line on the way?

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Anonymous Coward

Amazingly, I do know that; in fact, I've registered trade marks myself and been through the entire process several times. The point at issue is how generic they are and how broad is the scope of application claimed. It seems that American companies increasingly file for trademarks and then try to increase their scope to everything - remember when Intel trademarked "Pentium" and then sued an HR company called "Gentium"? - though how you were supposed to confuse someone who sacks people with a 486 microprocessor I really do not know.

You say

"The point is that these shapes, after much use, become an identifying feature in their own right and become a symbol that people recognise and (if you're lucky) trust"

But in this case someone is trying to trademark something that is not recognised, ahead of any such identification. I do not think many people would identify the stylised leaf with the top of the Apple logo.

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Anonymous Coward

errrr

"But in this case someone is trying to trademark something that is not recognised, ahead of any such identification. I do not think many people would identify the stylised leaf with the top of the Apple logo."

So they should use it before they register it?

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Facepalm

Google has trademarked their "G inside a box with curved corners"...

Is that any different? Nope. But maybe Apple are going to drop the "i" branding and go for LeafPods and LeafPads.

I'm sure El Reg and fandroids are getting worse at not seeing the total picture.

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Re: Google has trademarked their "G inside a box with curved corners"...

I'm not sure it's much of an argument to say "Just because this more complex thing can be trademarked, therefore this very simple thing can be too". We're not talking about the combination of a particular style of a letter, together with an additional geometric shape, we're talking about a single simple shape formed by two curves.

If there's no line, then can anything be trademarked, even say a single line?

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Childcatcher

Re: Google has trademarked their "G inside a box with curved corners"...

Am I the only one that thinks that Apple may be sued for infringement due to substantial similarity to a certain educational toy company if they do that?

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Re: Google has trademarked their "G inside a box with curved corners"...

Yes you can trademark a line. You can trademark a colour. All that means is, if no one else objects, you get that trademark for the areas you specified. It doesn't stop anyone else from ever using it. Otherwise apple would be the only company with apple in its name. What it does mean is apple is the only electronics company that is called apple.

The amount of stupid in the comments is exceptionally high today.

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Re: Google has trademarked their "G inside a box with curved corners"...

Apple did try to argue n court ithat a full stop is just a very short line...

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Apologies...

C'mon Apple leaf it out!

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Re: Apologies...

I don't get it....

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Anonymous Coward

The Register is in trouble...

<-- AC icon has "Apple leaf" eyes!!

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Whatever next ...

All your woodlands belong to us.

Just fck off Apple.

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WTF?

Apple - maybe not down the rabbit hole but they are certainly up some other hole of their own!

So. . .ummm. . . . does the apple tree in my garden infringe on this then. . . because it has leaves on it (usually).

It's a pity really but it seems Apple are going the same way today as they went all those years ago when they all but dropped off the face of the earth because of the huge consumer backlash against their draconian ways. Lets just hope that when the rubber band twangs back again this time it properly wipes them out.

The iPhone was great as was the iPad but its no longer the greatest, other than perhaps looking a little better than the competition. I've bought my last as I suspect many others have now there is a decent choice on the market.

So, all luck to them trademarking a leaf but it just goes to show just how arrogant they have once again become.

J

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FAIL

Re: Apple - maybe not down the rabbit hole but they are certainly up some other hole of their own!

Your tree will only be infringing if it starts to manufacture and sell electronic goods (or jewellery or some other stuff) and brands them with a leaf design like the one in the trademark application...

You do realise that Nike have trademarked a tick, the post office (along with many other companies) have trademarked a colour and some fashion label has a trademark of a crocodile? You do realise that a trademark is not a patent?

Geeze, as someone else pointed out - the level of stupid around here is rising.

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Some Simple facts

1. Apple is PURE CONCENTRATED EVIL

2. it should be sued for it's total market value just for trying to patent a PLANT PART

3. If you own or use a Apple product you are part of the problem

4. If you 3 is a p[ositive, then you are a grade a IDIOT

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Re: Some Simple facts

> it should be sued for it's total market value just for trying to patent a PLANT PART

Have you any idea how many billions of shapes the flora of this planet generate?

Toronto Maple Leafs, an ice hockey team. Their logo? You guessed it!

Yet you call a fair chunk of of our fellow humans 'idiots'. That is not a healthy perspective. And 'pure evil'? Read some history, there is far worse stuff there- rape, pillage, murder, oppression, slavery, torture, mutilation, genocide... just for starters. And sadly, it's not confined to history. If you have a serious point (giving you credit) about worker's conditions in China, I would suggest you look at the supply chain of the raw materials that go into all our decadent electronic gadgets- from any manufacturer. Nothing new here: diamonds, gold, tea, tobacco, cotton, oil, rum, sugar...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some Simple facts

It's not a patent, you moron.

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Anonymous Coward

Prior Art

There's already prior art for the use of this shape as part of a trademark in the footwear category. I believe it would be owned by Adidas.

http://annavassilev.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/adidas-logo.png

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prior Art

Apple is not applying for a trademark in footwear. Similar trademarks can coexist so long as they're not in the same line of business.

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