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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they actually trying to break the patent system by showing it up to be totally out of control and unworkable?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Nah, they are just extremely innovative.

      1. Karl H
        Mushroom

        and on the first day God created Apple

        who created, copyrighted and patented the rest of the world.

        Fortunately Adam came along and ate all the [f|w]**kers.

        3 cheers for Adam.

        (ps In reality I'm actually a raving atheist )

        1. Psyx
          Thumb Up

          Re: and on the first day God created Apple

          "Adam came along and ate all the [f|w]**kers."

          Common misconception there.

          Show me where it says it was an apple that he ate.

    2. David Webb

      Not a patent, a trademark™

      Obviously by looking at the image provided the first thing you think of is Apple.... okay, it isn't, does the apple even have a leaf? So no, it's an abuse of the trademark system and most likely will be thrown out.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        @David Webb 11:27

        "... does the apple even have a leaf? " Yes, often enough to make it iconic.

        If you pick an apple from a tree, instead of a supermarket shelf, you'll often see a small, 'pointed oval' shaped leaf attached to the stalk, close to the apple. This is so common and well known that it has been drawn and painted many times throughout history. Guess where Apple got the idea of an apple-type shape with an apple-leaf type thing close to it?

        1. AceRimmer
          Facepalm

          Re: @David Webb 11:27

          Guess where Apple got the idea of an apple-type shape with an apple-leaf type thing close to it?

          Apple records?

          http://www.applerecords.com/media/2af/0f07b116e923c/view.jpg

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @David Webb 11:27

            Guess where Apple got the idea of an apple-type shape with an apple-leaf type thing close to it?

            Apple records?

            http://www.applerecords.com/media/2af/0f07b116e923c/view.jpg

            ------------------

            I just wish apple records had the money to take apple to the cleaners.... the original dispute between the two over the trademarked name was settled on the grounds that apple never enter the music industry using the apple name....

            Now apple have more money than the Vatican, they can totally ignore the agreement because they know apple records could not afford the legal fees...

            maybe someone should set up one of those crowd sourcing things to generate the funding for the legal fight for apple records...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @David Webb 11:27 .. they also trademarked "Startup" the bastards.

              We should all print up "Apple Records" stickers and put them all over the place... water down the public's computer company association with the word Apple.

              I'm also upset that they've trademarked the term "startup" in many countries in the past few months in categories where it is already used extensively in a generic way. Who works in these Trademark offices? Doh!

        2. vic 4

          Re: @David Webb 11:27

          Think he was talking about the apple logo is without a leaf

        3. jackofshadows Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: @David Webb 11:27

          What concerns me is that the logo for my consultancy, a pear with a leaf, could be conceptually be mistaken if they really wanted to push it. Gee, fruit with a leaf, sue! Sounds crazy, but I'm seeing crazier stuff out of Cupertino everyday now.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Maybe this is some kind of system idle process for the lawyers and form fillers...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cupertino fraxinea

      Everything with a rhombic leaf profile will have to come down presumably....

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: not a patent, a trademark

        Using a leaf as trademark for Apple makes perfect sense if you remember the original Golgafrinchan settlers of planet earth used leaves as money.

      2. Osmosis Jones
        Holmes

        Re: Cupertino fraxinea

        adidas?

    5. s0beit
      Mushroom

      Apple: Chaotic good, committing huge abuses of the patent system to show the world it is broken.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @s0beit

        Google: Chaotic good, committing huge abuses of privacy laws to show the world that it doesn't need privacy

        Ther, fixed it for you

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Although it is the governments fault that they even allow stupid patents for this, I equally fault greedy Apple for even trying this crap. I think that if everyone boycott Apple products, they might get the message.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a "patent" and not a "leaf"

      "Patent" in Americanese is a nebulous term for anything resembling any form of registration. So you have to look into every mention of "patent" to determine what the hell they were trying to say/do. It would appear that in this case they're using "patent" to mean registration of a trade mark. No biggie.

      Furthermore, it aint a leaf. It's an eye. Presumably their best effort so far for an emblem for their forthcoming iTV (tm)

  2. drunk.smile
    Joke

    Prior Art, with rounded corners too!

    http://bit.ly/Su9LAO

    Expect they wrote the lawsuit papers before even filing the application.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior Art, with rounded corners too!

      Haha. I know you marked your comment as a joke, but blimey, its awfully similar isn't it? It's almost like they are going out of their way to try to goad Samsung now!

      1. Graham Marsden
        WTF?

        Re: Prior Art, with rounded corners too!

        But what about one third of the Adidas Logo?

        http://www.hdwallpapersarena.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/adidas-logo.jpg

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Prior Art, with rounded corners too!

      Well played, Samsung, well played....

      (Getting very tired of Apple, even to the point that somewhat piratical Samsung is preferable)

  3. 1Rafayal
    WTF?

    Is anyone else completely bored of this?

    Should Apple be allowed to trademark an oval?

    Should there be a system or process that even gets them close to doing something like this?

    Should Apple calm down a bit and concentrate on bringing new products to market?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

      It's not an oval.

      I've never even seen this before to my recollection!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

        guess you never did Venn diagrams at school?

        take off your apple-tinted glasses and Google "pointed oval" and you be amazed at how blind you really are.

        1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

          Seriously, it's not oval. Ovoid perhaps, but not oval.

        2. Nuke
          Thumb Down

          @AC - Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

          Wrote :- "take off your apple-tinted glasses and Google "pointed oval" and you be amazed at how blind you really are"

          You and your upvoters should take off your irony-blocking glasses and recognise a bit of sarcasm aimed at Apple.

      2. 1Rafayal
        Joke

        Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

        lol, I concur.

        I may try to trademark the "beer belly" for myself...

        1. 1Rafayal

          Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

          should have added an @JDX to my last post so as not to get flamed by the respective cultists/fanbois

        2. Andy ORourke
          Joke

          Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

          @ 1Rafayal, I may have some prior art on that trademark

          1. 1Rafayal
            Joke

            Re: Is anyone else completely bored of this?

            @ Andy O'Rourke

            Well, if I approach this from an Apple point of view then no, you dont. Naturally I am the first person to ever have a beer belly and if someone else has the temerity to develop one either now, in the future or even in the past, then I will be fully able to seek financial restitution through the courts.

            Any beer belly with rounded edges would therefore be a breach of patent and/or registered trade mark.

            All your beer bellies belong to us.

      3. ItsNotMe

        @JDX

        "I've never even seen this before to my recollection!"

        Then you obviously have no idea of what a wood working "buscuit" is.

        http://www.smarter.com/black-decker-dewalt-dw6800-no-0-size-joining-biscuits-/sd--pi-44090188--qq-joiner%2Bbiscuits.html?pdp=8&plt=grid

        This crap by Apple has just simply gotten out of hand.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: @JDX

          By "never seen this before" I clearly meant Apple's use of it, not this type of shape. What a bunch of dumbos.

          And no, an oval cannot be pointed. An oval has a continuous differential, a pointed shape like that has a discontinuity.

          1. 1Rafayal
            Joke

            Re: @JDX

            In defense of JDX here, I think possibly there was some tongue in cheek humor being applied.

            May be wrong, but...

          2. Stabbybob
            Facepalm

            Re: @JDX

            > By "never seen this before" I clearly meant Apple's use of it,

            Oh I apologise! By "never seen this before" I thought you meant "never seen this before".

            Love these little Fanbois ;-)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @JDX

            <i>And no, an oval cannot be pointed. An oval has a continuous differential, a pointed shape like that has a discontinuity.</i>

            Not again! Why do you keep posting? Masochism?

            You appear to be thinking of an <i>ellipse</i>.

      4. Gerard Krupa

        Re: Not an oval

        It's known as a Vesica Piscis or Fish Bladder

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesica_piscis

  4. Pooka
    WTF?

    Does the Nissan Leaf have this as part of their logo?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Actually, Nissan's safe. The automotive industry was not one of the industries listed in the application, and trademarks sharing names and designs can co-exist so long as they're in different industries. Case in point: in the USA, the name "Cracker Barrel" is trademarked to at least two separate companies. Thing is, one is the name for a line of cheese products while the other is the name of a restaurant chain: different industries.

      1. InsaneGeek

        If only that was true.... let's look at Apple's past history shall we on suing non-IT industries for daring to use an apple logo.

        Apple sues a grocer:

        http://beforeitsnews.com/science-and-technology/2012/09/apple-sues-polish-grocer-over-trademark-rights-2469892.html

        Apple sues a school:

        http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-Sues-Canadian-School-over-Apple-Shaped-Logo-95109.shtml

        Apple sues a coffie shop:

        http://gawker.com/5853402/apple-threatens-to-sue-tiny-german-cafe-whose-logo-is-an-apple

        Apple sues Woolworths:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/05/apple-sues-woolworths-ove_n_309450.html

        Apple sues an APPLE FARM:

        http://dailycurrant.com/2012/09/21/apple-sues-york-orchard-patent-infringement/

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          WTF?

          Thanks InsaneGeek

          Brighton says black vans have been circling his farm for weeks taking photos of every sign which contains the logo, and his iPhone mysteriously stopped working the day after the suit was filed.

          Apple is seeking $7 million in compenstory damages, plus $2 millon for the "emotional distress" the situation has caused its employees.

          I don't understand why anybody would use any apple-like logo on anything, right now the mere mention of crApple or an iProduct creates the same level of revulsion in me that walking on dog shit does, and all I can think of is how I can get rid of it without touching it.

          Steaming pile of poo icon please elReg.

          1. JayBizzle
            FAIL

            I have a feeling the Apple suing an Apple Farm was probably satirical....

            unless I missed you doing the same...

          2. Steven Roper
            Thumb Up

            @ Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

            "...the mere mention of crApple or an iProduct creates the same level of revulsion in me that walking on dog shit does..."

            An upvote and Reg Literary Merit award to you, sir, for the most effective and truthful use of the words "Apple", "iProduct" and "dog shit" in one sentence. Well done!

        2. Mark .

          Note that the last one about the Apple Farm is a parody. Though I think that in itself makes a point, it's sad that it's so hard to tell the actual real life events from parody (I only suspected it was parody from the over-the-top ridicule in the quotes - the basic gist of the story came across entirely believable, given the recent events with rounded rectangles...)

          1. wowfood

            I plan to create several companies with apples for logos. Why? Free publicity.

      2. Mark .

        Indeed - similarly Apple Records is a company that sells music, and Apple is a company that sells music. Wait a minute.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    prior art

    the leaf by itself is not a million miles away from the ears on the playboy bunny, no?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: prior art

      ... and the rounded corners too!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: prior art

      It looks like a diagonal vulva.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: prior art

        > It looks like a diagonal vulva.

        Awesome.

        I wonder how long it would take for Apple to drop a trademark that virally came to be known as that "vulval oval".

        1. Desidero
          Paris Hilton

          Re: prior art

          They could use an iPad 1 week a month for that iSnatch or iTwat, a natural accessory (maybe Apple can patent the string?). But from what I hear, Tim Cook wouldn't be interested anyway.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Next step: sue God?

    There are more apple leaves in nature than there are in Apple's marketing department. Presumably this application is simply to open the way for more litigation against whatever divine being was arrogant enough to "copy" Apple's design - though in real life, apple-tree leaves don't look much like the logo.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Next step: sue God?

      Well, if the application is granted they plan to clarify their position, devalue the leaf and, er... burn down all the forests. Seems to be a sensible move. Fiscally shrewd.

      Damn, we so need a Douglas Adams icon.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        >Damn, we so need a Douglas Adams icon.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams#Technology_and_innovation

        -from Wikipedia, though I got the same impressions from reading The Salmon of Doubt. Just saying.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        No contest - God won't even bother to turn up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Next step: sue God?

      <Joke>

      Apple is bigger than God

      </Joke>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        @ Mr ChriZ

        Re: <Joke>Apple is bigger than God</Joke>

        Well, joking aside, you're actually right. Apple is bigger than God. So am I. So is an ant. So is an atom.

        Anything that *actually exists* is physically bigger than God.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Pint

          Re: @ Mr ChriZ

          My joke was of course in relation to the famous John Lennon quote.

          I'm for reference an atheist. However for purpose of scientific debate. Prove that God has no mass. :-P

          1. Vic
            Coat

            Re: @ Mr ChriZ

            > My joke was of course in relation to the famous John Lennon quote

            Pah, John Lennon copied it. It was originally from the great Imp Y Celyn, who described his band as "Bigger than cheeses".

            Vic.

    3. Code Monkey
      Windows

      Re: Next step: sue God?

      If they were to find somewhere to serve the lawsuit I'd be impressed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        His or her representative on Earth - obviously. Follows competition to be recognised as the true representative by a Californian court.

        Apple v The Pope. I wouldn't try that one. Stalin: "How many divisions has the Pope"? But the Catholic Church still looks healthier than the Soviet Union, despite everything.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        He'd be stuffed for legal representation if they did.

        I suspect all the lawyers are somewhere else slightly warmer.

        1. Captain DaFt

          @TeeCee

          Well there is the old joke about the Pope passing to Heaven and being shown around.

          After being shown to his palace in Heaven, he looked out the window, and saw another palace whose magnificence dwarfed his and all the other Popes.

          "Surely that must be the palace of the Almighty Himself!", he cried.

          "No," said Saint Peter,"a lawyer lives there."

          The Pope was dumfounded. "Surely we Popes, that have dedicated our lives to God, deserve better than a mere lawyer!"

          Saint Peter responded,"We have many Popes here, but there dwells the only lawyer in Heaven!"

          If Apple sues, I hope he's a talented one as well.

      3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Devil

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        $DEITY may be at a disadvantage in this one as he/she has no access to lawyers.

        <---- he/she has them all.

      4. Dave Cheetham

        Re: Next step: sue God?

        God wouldn't have a chance of defending the case. All the lawyers are in the other place!

  7. Monty Burns

    Seriously....

    just fuck off Apple....

    1. 1Rafayal
      Thumb Up

      Re: Seriously....

      I am so glad that this comment didnt get moderated, tried to post something similar a while back.

    2. El Presidente
      Thumb Up

      Re: Seriously....

      Many of us came to that conclusion 20 years ago.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well on the bright side....

    "paper packaging for audio tapes"

    Can't see much of an infringement happening there.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Well on the bright side....

      Maybe they are hoping to go back in time to the 80's and innovate cassette tapes.

  9. cirby

    On the other hand

    Not nearly as bad as The Register trying to register "Register."

    Oh, wait...

    1. Ru

      Re: On the other hand

      On an ever so vaguely related note, anyone remember the "Aimster" farce?

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: On the other hand

      But if the R in a circle is short for REGISTERed trade mark, shouldn't that symbol have a little R in a circle next to it too...

      and then shouldn't that little symbol have an R.....

      Will the Register crash the internet with a stack-overflow with all those recursive ®s ?

      ... mine's the one with the rather large core-dump in the pocket.

  10. Isendel Steel

    Prior Art...

    I think this looks like an alien eye - as on thousands of inflatable toys (of whatever colour).

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Prior Art...

      AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! MY EYE! They've stolen my eye. It's ok, I'll just grow another one and set the one they stole to auto-destruct. You folks might want to stay clear of Cupertino for a bit. 120 miles should be far enough.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jewellery?

    A quick search shows lots and lots of prior art on "pointed oval" jewellery.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intellectual property = vested interests = corruption

      Hold on, this 'leaf' looks less simple than an equilateral triangle... I haven't read any comments here having a go at Bass Brewery:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Brewery#Marketing

      Maybe we need a Monty Python "A Plea for Peace and Tolerance (in a World of Fucking Loonies)" icon.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Intellectual property = vested interests = corruption

        It is widely stated that the Bass red triangle, a simple distinctive shape was so that the illiterate beer drinker could recognise Bass beer without needing to be able to read the label.

        Is this new Apple leaf logo for a new generation of illiterates to go 'ooh shiny, shiny, want it... Want it'?

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Intellectual property = vested interests = corruption

          That's why the "banana benders" (Queenslanders) have beer called XXXX.

    2. Invidious Aardvark
      FAIL

      Re: Intellectual property = vested interests = corruption

      It's a trademark, so it is *very* different from a patent. A patent can be used to prevent you from making something using the patented method, a trademark simply prevents you from selling something bearing the mark in the same industries for which it was registered. Pretty much the only reason to abuse a trademark is to pass off your goods as being made by the holder of the mark.

      Conflating trademarks and patents? Do you actually understand the difference or did you just want to moan about patents and saw it was an Apple thread?

  13. ADJB

    "The trademark application covers 10 classes of products including computers, jewellery, educational material, footwear, film streaming services and paper packaging for audio tapes."

    I notice that you only name 6 classes of products, is one of the others for urine extraction plants?.

  14. Purlieu

    TM

    TM is meaningless even in the USA you need R in a circle for Registered Trade mark.

    TM means "we can't be arsed to register it properly or can't afford to either, but we're trying to scare you into thinking we have some control here"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TM

      Think of TM as a warning that the word/phrase/whathaveyou is being used as a trademark.

      We defended a product name of ours that a US company was trying to register in the EU for a similar product by pointing out that ours had been in use in the UK for about 10 years and giving examples from trade publications.

      The other company was a reputable one, they presumably hadn't bothered doing any research beyond a check of the registered trademarks. Having a TM on our product wouldn't have made any difference in this case but if ours had been the registered trademark their application would have stopped dead at the first filing.

  15. Purlieu

    oh and

    downvoters please look it up first

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: oh and

      Anybody else sick and tired of these self-important pre-snipes against anyone who has the nerve to not like your comment?

      1. Grikath Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: oh and

        You mean the near pathological, if not pavlovian tendency some commentards have to hit the "dislike" button regardless of the sense a comment makes?

        Well worth pre-sniping sometimes, although a separate post is somewhat overdone, I think.

      2. ukgnome Silver badge

        Re: oh and

        "Anybody else sick and tired of these self-important pre-snipes against anyone who has the nerve to not like your comment?"

        Truthfully I don't care much for the red arrows or the green ones. If you all agreed with me then the world would be doomed, and if you all disagreed with me then the world would be screwed. Either way it's a steaming turd!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: oh and

          I disagree.

  16. NorthernCoder
    Go

    To be fair...

    ...they could be about to launch a new product or service, which they don't want to use the apple logo as its trade mark for, and therefore need to register a different trademark. Just as let's say any car-maker would trademark the model name of their brand new car.

    Furthermore, I consider that "design patents" should be renamed.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      '...they could be about to launch a new product or service, which they don't want to use the apple logo as its trade mark for, and therefore need to register a different trademark. '

      Apple's getting into the audio cassette market?

  17. Steve Todd
    FAIL

    Oh for gawds sake

    It's a bloody trademark. You can trademark anything you damned well want providing no-one is using a similar mark in any of the trade categories you are claiming. McDonalds have trademarked an M for the love of mike, and Blaupunkt have a blue circle. Prior art isn't important, just similar registered trademarks.

    1. EyeCU

      Re: Oh for gawds sake

      But this isn't a trademark, this is part of a design. If anything is to be registered it is the design in its entirety which Apple already have done. Once you start breaking designs down into each simple shape it just makes a mockery of the whole thing.

      Using your examples McDonalds do just use the M as a trademark in their advertising in a specific colour and font, Blaupunkt do not have a blue circle trademarked they have a blue circle followed by the company name in a specific font which they use and that is the trademark - the whole thing. Unless Apple are about to change their branding to the leaf then this is invalid.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Oh for gawds sake

        It IS indeed a Trademark, as the article notes, but you are right the entire design has to be considered. But companies can do have multiple trademarks for the various brands and distinctive characters/designs they use.

        That said, trademark applications HAVE been rejected in the past if they're found to be too broad. Example: Thrifty Rental Car Co. attempted to apply for a Service Mark (a type of Trademark used in service industries--the UPS logo is a Service Mark) that simply described their vehicles and places of business as "being blue". It was rejected as too broad; they appealed the decision, but the rejection was upheld.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh for gawds sake

        Wrong, the OP was correct. IAAL and the fact is that this a TRADEMARK application. Prior art and design rights do not come into it.

        You can (subject to some exceptions) trademark anything you like (even the colour Orange, or in theory the smell of cut grass), and the aim of the regime is to show origin of goods i.e. that goods with this logo on it originate from Apple. OK, we're all familiar with the bitten apple, but they may simply in future intend to use this 'leaf-like' mark on their products. If they don;t use it, then they lose it. However, the application is (or at least should be) for a limited range of goods, with which this TM will/should be associated.

        If I want to market car parts, and Apple is not doing that, then I could use that (or a similar logo) without (too many) problems, unless I was of course trying to exploit Apple's trademarks for my own advantage by taking advantage of their brand, misleading the public and/or diluting their brand.

        Again, this has nothing to with patents or designs (or burning down forests).

        I do agree, however, that the US PATENT Office grants patents that it shouldn't (and that companies try to file patents when they shouldn't ad absurdum) - but then shout at the politicians making the rules that let them do it.

        1. Vic

          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.

      3. Steve Todd
        Stop

        Re: Oh for gawds sake - @EyeCU

        Does the screen grab not give you a clue? The bit which says "detailed trademark information"?

        A company isn't limited to one and only one trademarked logo. They can trademark a logo for an individual product and range of products, which is what this looks like.

        1. EyeCU

          Re: Oh for gawds sake - @EyeCU

          Well lets wait and see, will we

          a: See Apple release a new line of products under the 'leaf' brand

          b: Sue everybody using a similar shape in their logos

          Given Apples track record my money is on B

    2. Uffish
      Pint

      ... or a red triangle.

      It is still not a pretty sight to see a rich company fighting for market share by going nuclear on the fluffier aspects of IP law.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    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 ;)

    1. Martin
      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.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going down in my opinion

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

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Going down in my opinion

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

  20. Julian C
    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...)

    1. teebie

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

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

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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.

  22. NoneSuch
    Thumb Down

    They are certainly taking a leaf of faith.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    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

    1. Neill Mitchell

      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.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: What's the big deal?

        >The leaf is just a simple geometric shape.

        What isn't?

        Bass

        National Geographic

        Blaupunkt

        Nike

        HSBC

        1. Neill Mitchell

          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.

      2. Philip Lewis
        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.

  24. ukgnome Silver badge
    FAIL

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

    1. Darryl
      Happy

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

  25. Eddie Edwards

    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.

  26. Andrew Barr
    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

  27. Hasham

    tossers

  28. robbo the yobbo

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

    1. Valeyard

      aw man got there first by minutes :(

    2. TRT Silver badge

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

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        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.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        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.

    3. Darryl

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

      As does Coca-Cola

  29. Valeyard
    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)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.......

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Invidious Aardvark
        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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?

  31. the-it-slayer
    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.

    1. Mark .

      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?

      1. toadwarrior

        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.

      2. imaginarynumber

        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...

    2. Chris Hart
      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?

  32. Da Letch

    Apologies...

    C'mon Apple leaf it out!

    1. Dazed & Confused

      Re: Apologies...

      I don't get it....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register is in trouble...

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

  34. veganhead

    Whatever next ...

    All your woodlands belong to us.

    Just fck off Apple.

  35. TechicallyConfused
    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

    1. Jonte Monkey
      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.

  36. Mectron

    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

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some Simple facts

      It's not a patent, you moron.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. imaginarynumber

        Re: Prior Art

        Would that be akin to a computer firm called apple, assuring another called apple that is in the music business, that the former would never enter the music industry.

        Personally I have no problem with apple registering the leaf, but how long before they claim that footwear is jewelery?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior Art

        Yes they are. From TFA:

        "The trademark application covers 10 classes of products including computers, jewellery, educational material, footwear, film streaming services and paper packaging for audio tapes."

  38. Alan Denman

    First the leaf, next that spec of dust

    If you blow up the Apple logo 100 fold you can just see a spec of dust.

    Dusty bin, you are toast

  39. Emacs The Viking
    FAIL

    Go viral with this...

    Here's what we as netizens who are absolutely fecked off with Apple and their absolute bone-crushing arrogance have to do... we all create and register an apple based trademark and then let their legal team squander billions trying to stop them all... that should keep them busy for a while I would have thought... Man V Food, Man v Apple more like and Man will win.

  40. Dropper

    Entertainment

    Someone should ask Samsung or Microsoft to trade mark the use of the letters TM and R when placed at the end of a word or logo in a smaller point size than the preceding lettering. We could then all grab bags of popcorn and watch the mayhem ensue..as an encore Samsung should then patent the use of the word 'innovate' when used in the context of copying something previously invented.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Prior Art

      Actually, thry can't. Government already has dibs on them thanks to the law.

  41. William Boyle

    How bogus can we get?

    This is the (mostly) exact form of the African Masai spear head. So, now the Masai cannot create their traditional weapons? Fark Apple! They have lost me as a customer forever! I refuse to give my hard-earned $$ to trolls...

  42. Darryl

    I definitely agree that it's yet another example of Apple going too far, but...

    Could this be in preparation for Apple releasing some sort of 'green' line of products?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      the only green line

      will be dribbling from the nose of some coked up lawyer who thought of this.

  43. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Apple gets "their Apple", not "All Apples"

    Dear Douchebags at Apple,

    When did you get the right to trademark or patent every design that comprises the outline of an Apple????

    I notice that you have a VERY specific logo that has a single bite out of the right side smack dab in the middle and a "leaf" on the left side.

    First, a school is not a computer manufacturer, nor is a grocery store, a small cafe, or family apple orchard.

    Next, your logo does not look exactly like any of these "contested " logo's,

    Third, if the use of the similar logo was in a competing industry, you may have had a point but since none of these are competeing industries there could never be any damages to Apple from "confusion".

    However, there ARE huge damages to the people you are suing and each of them should contact each other so they can share legal fees and file a harassment lawsuit against Apple.

    Perhaps Apple Records woiuld like to revisit their logo concerns at this time just to add fuel.

    Why don't we all chip in at Kickstart to help fund their legal campaign.

    Honestly, why don't you mentally deficient attention whores at Apple just grow up and learn that you are only convincing intelligent people who "Might" be their customers; that purchasing anything that Apple makes, only funds more stupid greedy lawyers.

  44. JaitcH
    WTF?

    That's not a leaf, it's a ...

    facsimile of a certain biological feature of female homo sapiens.

    Apple doesn't need anything more than a pile of nuts ... which totally encapsulates their corporate mentality.

  45. Mika Peltokorpi
    Alien

    No more alien logos?

    Graphical alien logos are thus banned in future? That looks like alin eye in famous alien logos.

  46. Atonnis
    Devil

    CONSPIRACY!!!

    Is that actually a leaf.....or is it the EYE OF A GRAY ALIEN!?!?!!!!

    Is THAT why they're building that spaceship in Cupertino!?!!

  47. mliblover

    What about for companies where the leaf IS the logo?

    What does this mean for companies where the leaf IS the company logo? An example Growing Liberty LLC

    http://growingliberty.com. Looks like Apple is being a bully. Do the really want to attack their customers in this way?

  48. Arclight

    Thats no death star

    So when can we expect Apple to claim ownership of the moon. After all, for most of the time its a circle with a bite taken out of it

  49. Fustigator
    Big Brother

    Don't you see how Apple work these days?

    This is the new innovation - forget technology or research, Apple aren't interested in that anymore, the way forward is to sue sue sue.. This is just paving the way for the big 2 patents that they have always sought.. Once they own the 'straight line' and the 'curved line' they can sue anybody who has ever printed or drawn anything. This will change everything!

  50. PassingStrange

    Jewellery?!?

    I have seen literally thousands of pieces of jewellery in the past shaped as leaves; I am sure that just about any jewellery shop rf stand that you care to pick will have multiple examples. Does Apple seriously think people are going to stop such items if this goes through (or that it will prevail in court if it tries to enforce such a trademark)?

  51. Stuart 14
    Headmaster

    whats intresting

    is just how pissed off people are becoming at apple, even when they are legally doing something that is legit, like this application. It seems they are about to start living in interesting times.

  52. Zot

    Yet another console out for next year?...

    Probably.

    Apple Leaf - it's certainly girly enough! ;)

    Or perhaps they are removing the leaf from their logo and were worried it would get lost!

  53. N2 Silver badge

    What next?

    Are they going to patent the core, pips, tree & so on? I cant help thinking what a pack of wankers they have become or has thinking been patented? now, theres an idea - oops.

  54. Toothpick
    Mushroom

    Usual El Reg trolling

    It seems a lot of people are doing exactly what's expected of them when the word "Apple" is mentioned in this article (if it can be called that). Immediate up vote for those saying Apple are taking the piss trying to patent a leaf (with the usual rounded corners mention thrown in for good measure). Immediate downvote for those trying to explain this is not a patent, but a trademark.

    Here's a few more trademarks I found

    Firefox logo

    M - MacDonalds

    Roaring Lion - MGM

    K - Kellogs

    Leaping cat - Puma

    The "peeled open" X = XBox

    Tick - Nike

    Why is the Apple leaf different from the Nike tick?

    Have a quick google at trademark images to see the variety of designs, from single images to images plus company. That is if you have time to look instead of posting shit.

    Whatever next? The Register trademarking a vulture's head?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Usual El Reg trolling

      The Apple leaf is significantly different from the Nike 'swoosh' (it's not referred to as a 'tick' because it's not a tick). The Nike logo is actually a graphical representation of the wings of the goddess Nike as depicted in some classical carvings (such as those found at the ancient city of Ephesus which now lies in modern day Turkey). It is the whole logo and has been since Nike dropped the word Nike from the logo in 1995 and re-registered it in its current form.

      The apple 'leaf' is only a component of the existing Apple logo which is already a registered trademark, but on its own is not particularly individually distinctive as a trademark (unless Apple are planning a major rebrand). A quick Google image search for 'leaf logos' returns a mass of similar-looking logos with some even incorporating a more-or-less identical shape as that which Apple seeks to register such is its commonality of shape.

      Patently none of these are looking to rip off Apple in any way, but given Apple's past form there's little doubt they may pursue anyone using anything vaguely similar to this shape in any existing business - competing or not.

  55. imaginarynumber

    i-fone anybody?

    What do you expect? This is the firm that tried to sue the mexican firm i-fone, even though they had been using the name before apple registered i-phone...

  56. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    The very first UK registered trademark was a red triangle.

    (Bass Brewery)

  57. bugalugs

    Such a shame

    that the Intellectual part of this Property grab is filling out a form and paying a fee. How innovative.That is all.

  58. Julian 13
    Alien

    Alienware?

    Isn't that shape the eye off the Alienware brand logo.

    Perhaps they'll get sued next

  59. JN0149
    Coat

    Don't understand the anti apple bile

    the apple logo itself is trade marked, and the leaf is part of that icon, so it makes sense to include it.

    But this outpouring of bile and nonsense is weird. why is apple not allowed to protect it's logo and it's constituent shapes? or it's products and properties?

    If Google had sued someone for using the letter G in a suggestive manner to imply a link with google, would the same animal howlings be heard from registeristas or is that reserved for apple?

    1. the-it-slayer

      Re: Don't understand the anti apple bile

      Fandroid-tards have nothing else better to do than become vultures when the word "Apple" appears in an article. Clear sense of insecurity there. It's all tit for tat anyway. Any Apple user just gets along with tech and fandroid-tards want to be anti-tech to be cool. Very illogical.

  60. 3kman
    Mushroom

    Going down just like the Hidenburg!

    Once I saw the "leaf" it took me all of five seconds to remember where I'd seen that shape before!

    http://www.history.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/hindenburg-wide.jpg

    We can only hope Apple go the same way!

  61. Sutton Stourmead
    Mushroom

    RIM shot?

    OMG JST Rlzd - the leaf is the same shape as pretty much EVERY key on a blackberry

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019