When is a “W” not a letter? When Apple Inc. says it’s a piece of fruit, that’s when. The iPod-maker and self-declared ruler of all things pomaceous has decided that the stylized W adopted by Australian supermarket chain Woolworths as its logo looks a little too much like Apple’s own logo, and that’s reason enough to claim trademark infringement.
In a filing made earlier this year, Apple objected to the Woolworths logo, which the chain unveiled last year. Nilay Patel, a former trademark lawyer who now writes for Engadget, thinks Apple has no chance of prevailing:
Sure, it’ll be big news if Apple’s opposition is successful and Woolworths [trademark] registration is denied — and we’ll obviously cover it if it happens — but chances are that Woolworths and Apple’s highly-paid attorneys are going to quietly go through the trademark process and come out with an agreement, and we’ll never hear about this again.
Woolworths’ trademark application does, however, include the potential to branch out into electronics stores, though that’s not likely to be enough of a reason for the company to be forced to drop the logo. As Hans Hulsbosch, who designed the logo, told Austranian newspaper The Age, “based on this logic, they would have to take action against every fruit-seller.” Just give them time, Hans. Give them time.
Apple bites over Woolworths logo [The Age]