Tech giant Apple are opposing the trade mark registration of food prep app Prepear’s logo, as they argue that their green pear logo “readily calls to mind” Apple’s iconic one. Apple have further-argued that the allowance of Prepear’s trade mark application would make theirs much less distinctive and potentially cause consumer confusion, as per their filing with the USPTO. Prepear have since responded by claiming that the logos hold no resemblance at all. Unfortunately for the latter, Apple hold the power to launch expensive legal battles to aid their argument, even if it is the smaller company which holds more merit in its case.
Dilution claims can easily enable companies with well-established trade marks to block others which could be seen to share similar attributes to their own. Registration is not a legal requirement, and if unsuccessful in their trade mark Prepear could proceed to offer their services under that name, unless potentially sued by Apple, as they could secure an injunction. However, trade mark registration provides the rightsholder with an endless list of benefits.
Prepear are not Apple’s first target of trade mark opposition, as the company also filed to oppose different institutions including Appleton Area School, 3.12 Academy Inc, which is an autism charity possessing an apple logo and finally education tech company Pear Deck Inc., for their cartoon pear logo. With numerous trade mark oppositions, Apple have previously been called out on trade mark “bullying”, however the company appear keen to avoid any consumer confusion through the use of dilution claims.
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