back to article iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

In the never-ending effort by Apple to think higher of itself, the computer giant has opposed a trademark featuring the silhouette of a pear. Pear Technology, which produces digital mapping software and services, applied for the pear logo in 2014 and was almost immediately challenged by Apple, which claimed it was confusingly …

  1. frank ly Silver badge

    Does anyone remember ...

    Apricot Computers?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Yes,. though not in great detail...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        Their logo was an apricot. Apple didn't get stroppy about it.

        Enough of a precedent to demonatrate why they shouldn't get stroppy about this either, I think.

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          @Dan 55

          Absolutely right. If Apricot can do it then Pear should be able to too. But the precedent doesn't stop there:

          Acorn

          Raspberry (Pi)

          Blackberry

          Tangerine (remember them? They made the Oric)

          I'm sure that there must be others - I just can't remember them all.

          My guess though is that this doesn't come from the top. It's just some dickhead in the legal department who's trying to justify his sad existence. Lawyers. Right up there with PR and telephone sanitisers.

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: Does anyone remember ...

            Apricot, yeah,we had a bunch of Apricot file servers back in the day, they had built in UPS and a little keyfob thingy that remotely operated a sliding door over the floppy drive. TBH I think the Apricot logo was more similar to the Apple logo back then, as Apple were still doing the coloured stripes thing.

          2. FozzyBear Silver badge

            Re: Does anyone remember ...

            "Lawyers. Right up there with PR and telephone sanitisers."

            I'd still place more value on phone sanitisers than lawyers. In fact I'm trying to think of a lower life form and coming up blank.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Does anyone remember ...

              FozzyBear

              Marketing consultants?

        2. Gordon Pryra

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          That is because in the 80's they had not yet left the world of personal computers and entered the world of "new money for old rope"

          Also they had not yet learnt that throwing a bag of cash at a "regulator" means they can do what they want.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Re: Does anyone remember ...

            Apricot were the last computer company to make all their own components. Probably what finished them off.

            My Dad won one when I was about 15. First time I saw a spreadsheet. Ashamed to admit that we swapped it for a BBC Model B with vast amounts of software.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Does anyone remember ...

              I was attendeding a computing course at Herriott Watt around then. It was the week that V aired in the UK, and I missed it all. Anyway, yes, there were several Apricots in the University and we got a tour of the factory. Superb machines, I remember thinking. Was sad to see them go.

      2. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        Raspberry pi?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          I checked mine to make sure it's not an Apple and Raspberry Pi

          1. Toni the terrible
            Joke

            Re: Does anyone remember ...

            ...and custard?

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Visited their factory when I was 15, IIIRC. Near Edinburgh. Leith, I think.

    3. Alphabet Soup 1

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Or Apple Records? Obviously they didn't "think different" back then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apple Records predates Apple Computers

        Apple Records predated Apple Computers.

        Apple Computers made a deal with Apple Records to NEVER get involved in music. Apple Computers later changed that deal. Unclear how much they paid to Apple Records.

        The more I see Apple, the moreI think, what a bunch of fucking cunts.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Apple Computers later changed that deal.

          Pray they don't change it further.

        2. SW10
          Coat

          Re: Apple Corp predates Apple Computers

          Apple Computers made a deal with Apple Records to NEVER get involved in music.

          ... and supposedly that 'bink' sound made nearly all Apple computers was named Sosumi by Jobs for that reason:

          "So, sue me."

        3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

          There were three separate lawsuits, with Apple Corp. taking Apple Computer Inc. to task over the use of 'Apple' and an Apple logo in conjunction with music.

          Apple Corp. won the first two, and received modest damages and a more explicit license deal, but the third one in 2003-2006 centered around the use of Apple and the Apple logo on the iTunes store, which was clearly about music.

          In this case, the judge ruled in favor of Apple Computer, taking a very (IMHO) lose interpretation of the maybe poorly worded section on content delivery and physical media (to me, it looks like the judge did not think that the electronic delivery of digital music conflicted with the previous agreement, which he interpreted as the delivery of music on physical media - clearly the case that digital music delivery was a disruptive techology).

          Although Apple Corp. said they would appeal, it was likely they didn't have the financial resources, and eventually Apple Computer. offered a settlement, and part of the settlement transferred the ownership of the Apple logo to Apple Computer, with a perpetual license to allow Apple Corp. to continue using their logo. I think it also included an agreement to allow Beatles music to be delivered through the iTunes store, something that Apple Corp. had explicitly blocked previously, presumably because of the ongoing disagreement.

          So there is now nothing Apple Corp. can do to anybody w.r.t the logo, as Apple Computer Inc. own it outright.

          It's amazing how much can be achieved by the application of money.

          1. Kirk Northrop

            Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

            And of course this result was the source of the bodged interview on BBC News that should have involved the late great Guy Kewney, but instead involved some random IT guy who had arrived for a job.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

            It's amazing how much can be achieved by the application of money.

            True. And for everything else that money won't achieve, there's cousin Quido aka "The Persuader". (Queue the theme from "The Godfather".)

        4. Bob Vistakin
          Headmaster

          Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

          The MacIntosh Apple predates them both a bit too, seeing as it was first named in 1811.

          Or was it? There's a conspiracy theory going round that even it's name was, ahem, "corrected" after Jobs and his new fangled computer outfit had their reverse engineering fun: The MacIntosh Apple.

        5. Toni the terrible
          Thumb Up

          Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

          I saw what you done there a Morel is a fungi right? Helped to grow by covering with a lot of bullshit.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Apple Records predates Apple Computers

            Morels are much more discerning than that. They are very particular about who they rub shoulders with. A neighbor has been trying to cultivate them for almost 50 years, and claims he's no closer now than when he was when he started. In his words "It has become a quest".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        Ah, but Apple Corps (the Beatles record label) took Apple Computers to court as early as 1978.

        Apple Computers settled and part of the settlement was that they agreed to stay OUT of the music business.

        Apple Corps took them to court again over iTunes - which most of us would agree was a clear violation of the agreement to stay out of the music business - and a UK High Court judge gave the decision to Apple Computer.

        I have NEVER EVER bought anything made by Apple Computer and never will. They are the evil empire.

        1. Toni the terrible
          Headmaster

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          No, I must correct you there, Apple are not the Evil Empire they are one of the Evil Empires. I am sure you can list the others.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Yes. I had an Apricot. They were good. One of the first PCs I had to myself, Dad bought it for me when I was 5 or 6.

      They discoloured quickly though. The beige plastic would brown up after a year or so. Dread to think what they'd look like in a smokers house.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        > They discoloured quickly though. The beige plastic would brown up after a year or so. Dread to think what they'd look like in a smokers house.

        Less brown?

    5. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      I worked for an Apricot dealer. At the time their PCs were far better than IBM and most of the clones. Trouble is they weren't then IBM compatible. The later compatible ones were still ahead of the game but too expensive compared to the competition and their customer service was poor.

    6. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      And Pineapple, they sold an Apple ][ clone. And Pearcom they did the same, among others with not so fruity names.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        I was going to bring up Peach, but then I remembered that it was an Apple ][ clone, so any infringement case would have been interesting, to say the least!

    7. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      I had an Apricot Xi with a 10MB hard drive. That was enough for DOS, a GUI, dBase II, Supercalc, WordStart, a VT100 emulator (and its source code), a C-compiler, a C interpreter(!!), Pascal compiler, BASIC and MS-BASIC compiler. There was also around 3MB free for documents

    8. g e

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Errr or even Pear computers, back in the day

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=pear+computer+logo&oq=pear+computer+logo&aqs=chrome..69i57.2341j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

      Even I'd agree that had some similarity to someones else's logo at the time

    9. This post has been deleted by its author

    10. Gio Ciampa

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      Or Tangerine?

      (manufacturers of the Oric-1 and Atmos as I recall)

      (Edit: someone already mentioned them... so that was the other person that bought one ;^D )

      1. gotes

        Re: Does anyone remember ...

        I had an Oric! That makes three of us.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          I _ordered_ an Oric,..... it was severely delayed, so I ended up cancelling and getting an Acorn Electron instead.

          Oric basic had a few neat features, like the 'wait' command, I recall they had one set up in WH Smith, so, like all mischievous teenagers, I instructed it to 'wait' long enough for me to get out of the door, then loop around the predefined sounds. The BASIC equivalent of setting all the cooking timers in 'Spoils' (if you remember that shop).

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            Re: Does anyone remember ...

            Whenever I'm at IKEA I set a dozen or so egg timers in the kitchenstuff aisle.

            Because someone has to do it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does anyone remember ...

          "I had an Oric! That makes all three of us."

          There - FTFY

    11. ShelLuser

      @Frank

      No. But I do remember a time when the EU wasn't on a road to become equally stupid to the US patent administration. Well, it seems to me they managed to do even better on that front. And some people wonder why I'm anti-EU :P

    12. dbtx Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      the PearPC emulator?

    13. zen1

      Re: Does anyone remember ...

      I remember how aggressively Apple prosecuted anybody when companies tried to import clones into the US. I also remember the enormous royalties companies had to pay to sell apple compatible (//e, gs and early mac) hardware. The repressive tactics apple used back in those days are, in my opinion, one of the most significant reasons apple has had problems with mass product saturation in areas other than early education, mp3 or the cell phone markets.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Apple.

    See this? (Holds up my wallet.)

    I'm voting with it. (Puts wallet back in pocket.)

    I'll never buy an Apple product if this is how you treat people. You were at least a contender in my list of potential computer vendors for my next one, but given how you like to trample us little folks under your jack booted heels, I'll go find someone else to handle my computer needs.

    Signed, a random person that just watched Apple flush itself down the toilet.

    (My wallet & I will be walking away now.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Apple.

      Been an apple computer user for years, stopped iPhones at the 3s.

      This week I sold my MacBook air (2015). I feel like I'm at AA telling you how great my first few days Apple free is.

      It is.

    2. William 3 Bronze badge

      Re: Dear Apple.

      Well done you. Here, have some Guardian points to make you feel all morally superior.

      Doesn't matter you'd be better off actually VOTING for someone to change the system itself.

      With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law.

      If Apple was the one writing these laws, you'd have a point. As they don't, you seem very misguided at best, because there isn't an alternative that wouldn't do what Apple does, because their shareholders and the law demands that they do so.

      I bet you're the type of person that screams at shop assistants because you dislike their company policy.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Dear William 3

        If Apple was the one writing these laws, you'd have a point. As they don't, you seem very misguided at best,

        The law has little bearing on the outcome in all high value legal cases. That's why top footballers get off speeding tickets that you wouldn't, why influential figures get away with wife beating that would have you in jail, why megacorps dodge taxes that SMEs and contractors can't, and why the chances of winning a legal battle against a bank are very, very low indeed.

        In this case, a tiddly company has again been trampled by the handsomely paid army of lawyers fielded by Apple. If you really think that is "how the law is written", then you really aren't paying much attention to the world.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: you'd be better off actually VOTING for someone to change the system itself.

        No, voting for someone to change the system is unlikely to change it. If Apple were to find that their legal bullying was costing them some money, however little, that'd change their behaviour.

      3. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "

        Well done you. Here, have some Guardian points to make you feel all morally superior.

        Doesn't matter you'd be better off actually VOTING for someone to change the system itself.

        "

        Well, if I lived in the US, then maybe I could.

        Instead, all I can do is "WTF-facepalm" like the rest of us.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Dear Apple.

        @William3

        "With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law."

        This is not defending a Trademark If it were a Apple, or even a Pear with a chunk taken out of it, I could understand. but it bears no resemblance whatsoever.

        This is bully boy tactics and little else.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law."

        Defending is one thing, looking for fights is something entirely different. Not only do the eponymous fruits look different, they're not even members of the same botanical genus. Apple do seem to have chosen the appropriate genus, however; botanically apples are Malus and Apple's behaviour certainly seems malicious.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Dear Apple.

          companies have to defend them, as that is the law

          No it isn't.

          It's the law that they can defend them. Even that they might need to - for example if a company was placing a picture of a half-chewed tree fruit in its cheap lap tops.

          Bu they don't have to. That's a choice.

      6. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law." yes defend them when there is confusion. If cant teal the difference between a pear and apple logo you are fucked. This is a map company and does not compete in the same market. Following your logic if I had a plumbing supply store called Apple, Apple would have to sue me or lose the rights that is not the case. if that was so then you would see apple sue applebee's which has an apple logo.

        Now if I were to start a computer company called apple V anda apple logo similar to apple computers I would expect to get sued.

        1. AIBailey

          Well done Apple

          You're rapidly becoming the new EasyGroup (who in the past have tried suing curry restaurants, pizza places and gyms)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyGroup#Legal_action

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Well done Apple

            "You're rapidly becoming the new EasyGroup (who in the past have tried suing curry restaurants, pizza places and gyms)"

            Nor forgetting the Olympic federation who go around suing any business with the word "olympic" in their name or use 3-6 rings in their logo anywhere near an Olympic venue, usually with the connivance of the government who pass special laws just for that during an Olympic year in the host city.

            The Olympic Cafe in London, for example. I doubt the Olympia Exhibition Centre was affected though.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well done Apple

            "You're rapidly becoming the new EasyGroup (who in the past have tried suing curry restaurants, pizza places and gyms)"

            To be fair to EasyGroup (and bear in mind I am certainly no fan of them or of Apple) in at least one of those cases the business was blatantly taking the piss, with a logo in pretty much the exact same colour and font as EasyGroup's. I live near there and I remember thinking at the time that they were asking for trouble.

      7. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        >With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law.

        So we can expect Apple to take Disney to court about its use of a highly stylised apple with a bite taken out of it in Sleeping Beauty? Or should Disney be taking Apple to court for unpaid product/trademark placement royalties...

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Apple.

        I bet you're the type of person that screams at shop assistants because you dislike their company policy.

        If this keeps happening to you, please consider that the customers might be screaming at you and not at the company.

      9. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law."

        Yes (although someone recently here said that was a myth). But defend against a true threat/copy. Not something that the judge admitted was different in several ways.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Dear Apple.

          >Not something that the judge admitted was different in several ways.

          And also admitted that the differences would not go unnoticed by an ordinary person.

    3. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dear Apple.

      While I support you, sadly I feel you're a drop in the ocean. There's enough Apple Corp "fans" ( I use word in it's strictest sense! ) out there that will happily die for the company.

      I love to collect books about computing history and there a few on Apple's fans. When you see pictures of people's bodies with multiple Apple logos and Mr Jobs tattooed on them, you start understand why these people have earned their reputation as some of the most ardent fanatics in the world. You think pre-teenage girls are fanatic about boy-bands, at least the girls grow up and grow out of it, Apple fans are just plain nuts for life!

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "Apple fans are just plain nuts for life!"

        Hang on, nuts are a fruit as well; you're just making the situation worse!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "Apple fans are just plain nuts for life!"

        Nice one. Pretend you've got two upvotes, one for the sentiment and one for the turn of phrase.

      3. qwertyuiop
        Facepalm

        Re: Dear Apple.

        ...enough Apple Corp "fans"...

        Except that it isn't Apple Corps doing this! It's Apple (the computer company) which took the action and has the fanbois. Apple Corps Ltd is the multimedia corporation which the members of The Beatles founded in 1968. The name is a pun.

      4. Mage Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: There's enough Apple Corp "fans"

        "There's enough Apple Corp "fans" ( I use word in it's strictest sense! )"

        Apple Corp was the pre-existing Beatles label.

        Apple Computer dropped the word computer from their name. They are Apple Inc.

        1. psychonaut

          Re: There's enough Apple Corp "fans"

          "Apple Computer dropped the word computer from their name. They are Apple Inc."

          ive only just noticed this....

          Apple Inc ......Appauling

          sounds about right

      5. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "There's enough Apple Corp "fans" ( I use word in it's strictest sense! ) out there that will happily die for the company."

        You mean things that just go 'round and 'round in a circle all day and don't do anything more useful than move a little air?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Dear Apple.

          Pirate Dave. That's so unfair. They move the air towards and over warm people/CPUs and so remove heat.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Dear Apple.

      Very good, but shouldn't we be reserving our ire for the EUIPO which let them get away with this bollocks?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        "shouldn't we be reserving our ire for the EUIPO"

        No, let's not be parsimonious about this.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        Don't blame the patent office. Blame the morons who have oversight of the office and don't put the brakes on. Those are the people who tell the clerks and lawyers what to do. The employed staff are just trying to do what they're told and keep their jobs.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Apple.

        >but shouldn't we be reserving our ire for the EUIPO which let them get away with this bollocks?

        Definitely we should be worried (regardless of Remain/Leave)!

        Going through the linked EUIPO document the logic and language being used by the EUIPO is troubling. Basically, if I trademark a stylised IC chip, using the points raised by the EUIPO I should be able to get rulings against practically any other trademark that uses a stylisted IC chip.

        But going back to ire with the EUIPO, this case needs to be brought to the attention of the Brexit supporting UK media, as unlike the "straight banana" daftness, this is off the scale daftness and really needs to be exposed.

        However, care is needed, as the Pear Technology in the EUIPO case is Pear Technologies (China) Ltd, and not Pear Technology Services (UK) Ltd.

        1. Rol Silver badge

          Re: Dear Judge

          "I ordered a scantily clad young woman. And you sent me a transvestite with oranges stuffed in his bra"

          "Sorry sir. After reading your deliberations on the Pear v's Apple case, we really didn't think you would notice any difference"

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Dear Apple.

      You are holding the wrong thing.

      Register a trademark with a banana and two kiwis. That should do the trick.

      1. SteveK

        Re: Dear Apple.

        Register a trademark with a banana and two kiwis. That should do the trick.

        Ah, that'll be the logo for 'Fruit Computers', and the iFruit Phone in the Grand Theft Auto series then.

        http://gta.wikia.com/wiki/IFruit

    6. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Dear Apple.

      The name Pear Technologies "must be assessed against the background of the fact that the word, where understood, merely reinforces the same concept as the one attributed to the sign's figurative element, thus creating a semantic unit."

      And that's not even Apple's lawyer talking – that is the decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which actually ruled for Apple and against Pear Technologies.

      I'm disappointed with the EU. There ought to be a corruption or incompetence investigation about this and the people that made the ruling personally fined.

      As well as Apricot, Cherry is or was a tech company. There have been many "fruity" tech companies.

      Blackberry, Cherry, Pineapple, Apricot, Tomato (motherboards) and others.

      How the hell can anyone confuse a pear silhouette with no bite, with Apple's stolen from the Beatle's Apple Corp (using an apple core logo) apple with a bite. I'm surprised Apple hasn't sued the LGBTQ folk too as the logo used to have coloured stripes (though curiously in the "wrong" order".

    7. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Dear Apple.

      > You were at least a contender in my list of potential computer vendors for my next one

      I don't mean to sound rude, but as one who considers multiple potential vendors, you don't strike me as their target market.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    So my new company logo....

    ...."Dogshit Industries - we have the drop on innovation"...

    probably won't make it either.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: So my new company logo....

      "Dogshit Industries"

      Sorry, Apple and Microsoft are both fighting after that name.

    2. Mr Bussiness
      Thumb Up

      Re: So my new company logo....

      thats rotten, to the core!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: So my new company logo....

      ...."Dogshit Industries - we have the drop on innovation"...

      probably won't make it either.

      That depends on if there's a bite out of the logo....eeeeewwww!

  4. graeme leggett

    everything is similar to something else...

    Apple's "think different "

    Wasn't that a play on IBM's 'Think' anyhow. To the best of my knowledge IBM weren't dicks about that.

    Should the University of East Anglia fear the lawyers as their motto is "Do different"

    1. Esme

      Re: everything is similar to something else...

      -and Magnatune were using 'we are not evil' before Google was (difference being that Magnatune genuinely are not evil).

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: everything is similar to something else...

      Should the University of East Anglia fear the lawyers as their motto is "Do different"

      no they should get an adult to come up with the motto!

      1. graeme leggett
        Coat

        Re: everything is similar to something else...

        the motto supposedly comes from the quote (no sign of origin at moment) "people in Norfolk do things different".

        And the Norfolk dialect uses "do" as an imperative. At Trafalgar, Nelson said to Hardy "do you anchor" as an order.

      2. psychonaut

        Re: everything is similar to something else...

        and the university of scouseland

        "dey do doh dont deh do"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IF I remember correctly Apple had to ask Apple music to use Apple as a trade mark in in the UK on one condition. Apple would not sell music in the UK.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Sosumi

      Hence the name of one of the first sound files available on the Mac...

  6. TRT Silver badge

    Was I dreaming...

    About Swiss railways taking someone to court over the use of the dot on a second hand on a clock?

    1. lybad

      Re: Was I dreaming...

      https://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/09/apple-apes-trademarked-swiss-railway-clock-for-ipads-new-clock-app/

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Was I dreaming...

      But the Swiss railways were right; it was a straight landgrab. As is this one.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Was I dreaming...

        But the Swiss railways were right; it was a straight landgrab.

        In Switzerland that would be an uphill battle.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Was I dreaming...

          Or downhill. If you can make a Swiss roll.

  7. tedleaf

    Ahh,it because apples usual customers are high worth morons who really do have trouble telling the difference between an Apple and a pear...

    Apple has a huge legal dept,they have to keep them busy when their not in court arguing that one flat glass fronted oblong with rounded corners is different from all other glass fronted oblongs with rounded corners in courts,so they take on things like this..

    I prefer my first argument,Apple buyers are gullible idiots,jobs was a thieving lieing bastard,his company has the same personality faults..

    Apple will die before I do,so I will have seen them born,steal billions and then I will watch them collapse,and I will laugh at the suckers holding stock when it tanks..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Ahh,it because apples usual customers are high worth morons who really do have trouble telling the difference between an Apple and a pear..."

      Yes, the sort of people who buy expensive pre-bagged.pre-chopped fruit to go in their very expensive smoothie maker and have probably never seen an actual real complete un-chopped fruit in their short (so far) lives.

      Or the sort of people that think chips come from McDonalds or the supermarket freezer aisle and don't what a potato is.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        "Or the sort of people that think chips come from McDonalds.."

        There's somewhere else?

        Damn, who'd have thunk it.

  8. Richard Jones 1
    WTF?

    Should Have Gone to Specsavers

    Perhaps they should try a cactus picture next time, the prickly pear should do nicely and suggest that apple's terminally stupid lawyers and the various courts of injustice see an optician, e.g Specsavers.

    I would just love to make an insecticide against the apple worms, some may remember that the apple was originally a fruit. I do remember and enjoy them every day, I find them much more tasty than the crock of shit electronics lot.

    1. LesC
      Pint

      Re: Should Have Gone to Specsavers

      Yup and they"ve got spikes which don"t have rounded corners. Beer as no tequila icon, also made from cacti :-)

  9. William 3 Bronze badge

    Not like you'd do it yourself

    If I started a website called the regista and had a silhouette of a pigeon in the title.

    It never ceases to amuse me how the media believes themselves to be above everyone else, yet are often far worse than them.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Not like you'd do it yourself

      I suspect ElReg would point at you and laugh in these very pages.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Not like you'd do it yourself

      You forgot this --->

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Not like you'd do it yourself

      >If I started a website called the regista and had a silhouette of a pigeon in the title.

      Well much would depend on the content, with satirical content you would most probably get the blessing of the law.

    4. Wilseus

      Re: Not like you'd do it yourself

      Has El Reg ever gone after The Enquirer I wonder?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm worried now.

    I had an idea to start an online business supplying pron where I use the silhouette of someone taking it from behind so to speak as the logo.

    Do apple hold that patent or would they sue? Now I'm not so sure.

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Ths London 2012 Olympics Committee...

      ...would definitely sue, because they got there first with their Lisa Simpson logo.

      https://www.sessions.edu/notes-on-design/london-2012-olympic-games-a-logo-in-controversy/

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >I use the silhouette of someone taking it from behind so to speak as the logo.

      Based on this case, you would lose to a claim from whoever has the rights to the Rabbit Injection logo etc. on the basis that a person taking it from behind is too similar and thus confusing with a Rabbit taking it from behind as both are mammals...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think Viz owns that one...

      ... Up The Arse picture section

  11. Len Goddard

    Pear computer

    In the days of the Apple II there was a company known as Pearcom which marketed the Pear II computer (an Apple II compatible with extra expansion slots and a numeric keyboard). They briefly used a rainbow striped Pear as a logo but gave that up when Apple made threatening noises. That logo obviously a direct ripoff, but this case is farcical.

  12. Dagg
    Happy

    Bloom County Cartoon strip

    Had better watch out! They had one of the characters Oliver Wendell Jones using a Banana Jr. 6000 computer.

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

  13. SonofRojBlake

    Calls to mind a couple of TV shows: the BBC's short-lived "Dirk Gently" adaptation, and US show "iCarly", which I've never seen.

    http://i.imgur.com/mtsNhMi.jpg

    http://www.8164.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/clip_icarly.jpg

    That is all.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "which I've never seen"

      Having a teenage niece, I have had the dubious pleasure of seeing that one some years ago (she will probably kill me now for revealing that she used to watch it). I would have thought the producers Nickelodeon and Schneider's Bakery might have a better case to sue than Apple.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I would have thought the producers Nickelodeon and Schneider's Bakery might have a better case to sue than Apple."

        I doubt either of those actually registered that pear image as a TM. Most likely it was a prop designers or writers in-joke that the production company lawyers OK'ed

  14. dan1980

    Part of this is also the need to actually defend your trademarks. As cited by several people above with the precedent of Raspberry and Blackberry, etc, it's clear that not trying to enforce your trademarks makes enforcing them later more difficult.

    I suspect Apple didn't really expect to win and didn't care if it did - it just defended its trademark in order to keep its strength and to set a strong precedent for the future.

    And, if you're an Apple lawyer* then it behooves you to defend that trademark to the very best of your ability.

    Not that this isn't somewhat thuggish behaviour, just that it's not legally unwarranted.

    * - I am reminded of Disaster Area 'research accountants'?

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      "And, if you're an Apple lawyer* then it behooves you to defend that trademark to the very best of your ability ludicrous of extremes."

      FTFY

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Part of this is also the need to actually defend your trademarks."

      As I wrote in another comment, defending is one thing, setting out to fight all comers is another.

      1. CustardGannet
        Trollface

        I am not a lawyer but...

        ...surely Pear's defence is that "only a moron in a hurry would be confused" [ see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_moron_in_a_hurry ].

        However Apple will probably win because all their customers are, in fact, morons in a hurry.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: I am not a lawyer but...

          "However Apple will probably win because all their customers are, in fact, morons in a hurry."

          'In a hurry'? Then why do they spends weeks waiting in a que when all they have to do is preorder and have it delivered the day it becomes available?

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: I am not a lawyer but...

            Because they want to be first (why the f*ck they think that's important/significant God alone knows). But haven't worked out that standing in a queue doesn't get it to them quicker

  15. TRT Silver badge

    Does this apply to any fruit?

    Because you know, I might get confused between being sold an Apple and being sold a Lemon.

  16. TheProf
    Joke

    Changing names

    Maybe Pear should change their name and logo to something like this:

    ͏͏͏(.)(.)

    Pair Technology

    Nah. Apple would still kick up a fuss because they're tits!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Changing names

      "Apple would still kick up a fuss because they're tits!"

      Looks like a spotty bum to me :P

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Changing names

        "Looks like a spotty bum to me :P"

        (.|.) surely?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Changing names

          Fair point :)

          (.o.)

  17. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Now we know..

    ..what Apple thinks of the overall intelligence level of their target customers, who apparently can't tell one fruit or even one physical object from the other. I hope they start a disappointed shoppers foundation to offer counseling and support to people discouraged after grocery store visits. "Damn, I bought the wrong thing again!"

    Maybe I should either become a lawyer or own a liquor store. In both cases, either profits regardless of the situation. Win or lose, lawyers get paid, and people drink to celebrate or drown their sorrows, regardless of their personal economic situation. In fact, this article makes me want a beer already, and it's not even 6AM where I am..

  18. Dominion

    Are trademark applications expensive? I'm thinking about registering as many trademarks as possible with a fruit based logo just to see Apple's lawyers frothing at the mouth.....

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      > Are trademark applications expensive?

      I rather like the idea of trying to register the original pear logo but with the words "Utter shit" underneath just for the pleasure of watching Apple's lawyers having to claim that people might confuse "Apple" and "Utter Shit".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its about £1,000

      We registered our trademark at EU level last year. Cost around £1,000 and thats for all EU countries. Utter bargain I think and a wonderful example of what the EU can do properly. Did it all online and it "just worked".

      Its about £400 for a UK only one (from memory).

      There are also lots of different types of trademarks. We did not do a logo as we didn't have a logo to do.

      The only downside are the scammers who then send you a bill for the same amount as the EU trademark registration for inclusion in 'their online catalogue'. The invoices are very convincing, but sadly for them, my IP legal chappie warned me this would happen. I sent the letters back with a collection of hardcore gay porn another friend had lent me. Oddly enough, never got a reply.

      No idea whats going to happen to my trademark after those tossers in the govt actually get us kicked out of the EU. A fantastic example of what the EU can do well, all lost through to those twats, Boffo the the fucking Clown, Ian Dead from the neck up (and down) Smith and Michael 'knife anyone in the back for a shilling' Gove.

  19. gskr

    Gah.

    Apple lawyers - Like regular lawyers, they just don't bother to shave off the pointy beard or hide the horns

    Still I don't need any more incentives to avoid their products now - the products themselves are unappealing enough

    I've got a 2013 Macbook Air - which at the time compared quite favourably in spec, quality and price with the equivalent Windows ultrabook-type laptops.

    Now in 2017 Apple are selling a (more expensive), but more or less unchanged model (apart from a newer processor). Its still got the same RAM, storage and low res screen.

    However that's still the most appealing laptop they sell, as all the others are more expensive and lose all the usefulness of things like SD card slots, regular USB ports and magsafe chargers.

    The iPhone has no headphone port

    The Mac Pro is hugely expensive, under-powered and unexpandable.

    Bad Apple.

  20. Graybyrd
    WTF?

    Lxcense Lxttle x?

    Xs xt possxble xt wxll bode xll xn txme, xt wxll be xllegal xn Englxsh to dxsplay any lxttle x's wxthout lxcense?

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    @Apple's legal team.

    Well done lads, have a banana.

    (Oops, your heads seem to have exploded.)

  22. myhandler

    Eh, they've forgotten to sue this lot:

    PEAR - PHP Extension and Application Repository

    https://pear.php.net/

    And then Coco de Mer had a bum shaped logo based on a suggestive looking fruit.

    1. Rob Willett

      They're not trademarks so nothing to sue.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is bad that I want Apple to sue MS or IBM just to get their ass handed to them ? I'm pretty sure IBM could find at least one patent apple is infringing on.

  24. JDX Gold badge

    Apple helped Pear out on that second logo

    The square-pear logo is just horrible.

  25. Zakhar
    Facepalm

    Raspberry?

    Doesn't the PI have a raspberry as a logo?

    Are they going to be sued for that too in case we mistakenly think a raspberry is a sort of apple?..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Raspberry?

      If the raspberry was a black or grey silhouette, then yeah, they probably would :-(

  26. inmypjs Silver badge

    Just goes to show...

    How well apple knows its (potential) customers.

    Morons who can be confused by apple and pears.

  27. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Personally, I've always been confused when seeing the Apple logo, unsure whether I'm looking at an iPad, a Beatles compilation album or a vibrator from an Ann Summers shop.

    So I for one welcome this altruistic attempt by Applelaw to clarify the confusing mess that trademarks have become.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      I'm fairly sure that if you used an iPad instead of a vibrator, one of you would probably notice. Then again you could leave vibrate on....

  28. rh587
    Joke

    But Apple won. Not only with this logo but also with another Pear Technologies logo that bears even less resemblance to the Apple logo. A pear made up of lots of different-sized squares no less.

    But the squares do appear to have rounded corners...

  29. Reality Dysfunction
    Stop

    Pear for Apple already in use for 10 years on Kids TV

    Nickolodeon shows that my little ones watch like iCarly and Victorious use Pear products with a pear logo in place of the Apple on macbooks, ipads, iphone replacements.

    iCarly was also sued by Apple for using the Magic i http://www.esarcasm.com/23846/apple-lawsuit-icarly/

    1. Toastan Buttar
      Facepalm

      Re: Pear for Apple already in use for 10 years on Kids TV

      Joke news.

      Until today.

  30. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Dear Apple Users

    This is what your beloved company thinks of you. You're too dense to differentiate a pear from an apple. You fuckwits.

    Although to be fair if that is the case you probably can't read this.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nickelodeon Networks has been using pear-logo computers and phones for years

    Nickelodeon networks has featured computers and phones with a pear logo on their kids shows for over a decade. E.g. iCarly (2007-2012.) Some of the items, such as laptops, have internally illuminated pear logos. I'm not aware of complaints from Apple about those.

  32. PaulR79
    Mushroom

    Thanks, Apple!

    I got back from the shops earlier with a bag of apples and was about to eat one while checking The Register. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be pears! I marched straight back to the shop and demanded satisfaction. It turns out that they didn't know either. I sense there is a greater scam at large and without the fastidious lawyers of Apple we'd never know.

    Dear lawyers,

    I know you get paid a ridiculous amount of money and know all sorts of obscure verbage in the hopes of confusing those less knowledgeable but it just makes me want to shout at you to speak plain English. I hate you. In the article there is a migraine inducing quote that seems to be saying, "If a person sees this pear shaped logo it'll make them think of Apple". That's perhaps true but it doesn't make any normal person's mind also deduct that they are the same. That's even ignoring that THEY ARE A MAPPING COMPANY.

    Can it be Friday already? Please?!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did nobody say

    But you're comparing Apples and Pears, an expression of long standing that conveys the notion that two such inherently different things can not be meaningfully compared?

    And if they did, as they surely did,why did Apple win?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lawyer on Something

    The name Pear Technologies "must be assessed against the background of the fact that the word, where understood, merely reinforces the same concept as the one attributed to the sign's figurative element, thus creating a semantic unit."

    And that's not even Apple's lawyer talking – that is the decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which actually ruled for Apple and against Pear Technologies.

    *** The concept is that of a distinct fruit called a pear, not an apple, as evidenced by the name PEAR Technologies. Apple missed their opportunity to challenge the company name, so legally why can't they have the fruit corresponding to their name, which has NOT been challenged? Even the lawyer admits that the word and logo go together!!!!! ***

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious!

    "If all that isn't a textbook illustration of how over-paid lawyers use fancy words to try to hide a mountain of horseshit logic, we don't know what is."

    A pretty reasonable introduction to a contemporary art exhibition?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beware

      To quote "Peach Melba"

      Beware the Grapes of Wrath, all you Cherry Pickers !

      Oh! and go Easy with Oranges

      1. Toni the terrible
        Pint

        Re: Beware

        Oranges are not the only fruit

  36. herman Silver badge

    Obviously it was the rounded corners that done them in...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reason

    This clearly idiotic ruling by the EUIPO is yet another good reason to support BREXIT. The UK should be free to make its own idiotic rulings on such matters.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another fruit:

    Acorn Computers: Silhouette logo:

    https://ih0.redbubble.net/image.79226077.2378/ap,550x550,16x12,1,transparent,t.png

  39. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    In Hong Kong I used an Apple ][ clone called, I kid ye not, a Banana.

  40. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    Money Talks

    .. and bullshit drowns all sanity and rational thought

  41. tp2

    Pear's logo is clearly broken

    Well, Pear deserved to lose this time. The logo is clearly ripoff of apple logo. The 2nd logo is so blatant ripoff, since everyone (and their mother) knows that apple has claim on rounded rectangles, so using a fruit and rounded rectangles together is already combinatory infringement of apple's trademark. If that doesn't get lawyers screaming for your money, nothing will. The first logo is actually better than the 2nd one, but both of them combined, gives clear indication that they wanted to ride in apple's popularity and cash in the money..

    1. Toni the terrible

      Re: Pear's logo is clearly broken

      Or, rather than trying to cash in on Apple they got somewhat annoyed at Apple Inc

  42. FlippingGerman

    Taxis

    Whilst spending a lot of time in Exeter a few years ago I noticed a fair few taxis named Apple Taxis, apple logo and all. Somehow they haven't been sued into oblivion; perhaps they're older then Apple Inc., or simply escaped notice (which seems doubtful).

    http://appletaxisexeter.co.uk/

  43. Pat Att

    What a load of sh!it

    As a patent attorney, I heartily endorse this article. The EUIPO made a bad decision there.

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