As a company, Apple is known for creating and producing innovative products like the the iPod, iMac, iPhone and iPad. Understandably, they stringently protect their name and trademark, but an Apple lawsuit could be in the works that shows Apple may be out of line and slightly overzealous. The company has targeted a small German cafÃ© called Apfelkind (which means apple baby) saying that they copied the likeness of the Apple logo.
Apple Lawsuit Goes Overboard with Trademark Protection
Remember when Facebook tried to trademark the word face in 2010? They actually got the rights to do so if they paid a fee to the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). But the patent for the word “face” only applied in instances when a competitor was trying to create a competing social networking site. Serving coffee and waffles in a German cafÃ© presents no threat to Apple, so why is there the potential of an Apple lawsuit?
Did Apfelkind Copy Apple’s Logo?
Initially, Apfelkind owner Christin Romer was flattered when contacted by Apple. She was proud of the logo she had commissioned, which she modeled after the idea of Starbucks having a logo that became ubiquitous with coffee in America. Apfelkind’s logo is a red apple with a cut-out silhouette of a child wearing a hat. The logo is all over the cafÃ© – on mugs, chairs, cushions and the company’s delivery bike. An image of the logo can be seen here.
Why is Apple Mad about the Cafe’s Logo?
In the case of an Apple lawsuit, the company would claim that their original logo would be damaged or diluted by the presence of Apflekind’s logo. Apple said, “the choice of the color red, the leaf on the apple stem and the shape of the apple could confuse customers.” Apple does realize, don’t they, that they didn’t actually invent the apple, right? If Apple wants to use this argument to harass small business owners, they should be mindful that they borrowed their entire logo / trademark from an ancient industry. Since when does Apple, the company, own the image of a red apple?
In light of Steve Job’s recent death and Tim Cook’s new leadership role, Apple should focus on what’s important. Product innovation is a higher priority than chasing down every company that uses an apple in their logo design. Now, if Microsoft suddenly adopted an apple likeness, an Apple lawsuit may be in order.