Apple mounts legal challenge over Woolworth’s ‘apple’ logo

“Woolworths’ recently introduced logo is a stylised W resembling a piece of fruit (echoing its ‘fresh food people’ slogan),” Stephen Withers reports for iTWire. “But Apple thinks the new logo is too similar to the stylised apple design it has used in various forms and colours since the early days of the company.”

“Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. Trade marks are granted for specific categories of products and services, allowing Hyundai and Microsoft to use the same trade mark (Excel) for a car and a computer program,” Withers reports. “But Woolworths is trying to register its logo as a trademark in Class 9 (among others), which includes ‘apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images… calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers… computer devices and computer peripheral devices… [and] computer hardware and software.'”

“Apple has products in all of those categories,” Withers reports. “Another issue is that Apple already uses its logo to identify its retail stores.”

Full article here.

Julian Lee reports for The Age, “Apple will have to convince IP Australia, the Federal Government agency that governs trademarks, to knock back Woolworths’ application – filed in August last year – to trademark its logo.”

“Woolworths’ application includes a wide class for electrical goods and technology, putting it in direct competition with Apple should the retailer choose to brand computers, music players or other devices,” Lee reports. “Woolworths has gone into credit cards and mobile phones, so the likelihood of it going into computers is not too remote.”

“Trademark lawyer Trevor Choy said it was common for Apple to prevent others from using anything that resembled an apple in a logo or marketing,” Lee reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Clearly, Apple is right to protect themselves against the possibility of Woolworths slapping said logo on some random phones, music players, PCs and/or other electronic devices and potentially confusing consumers and diminishing decades of hard work and money that Apple has invested in their brand’s logo – one of the most valuable in the world.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

79 Comments

  1. Now I wonder if this business will go the same way as the UK chain of the same name: bust.

    Honestly, if you muck up marketing like that, who will trust you to buy from you? Zune users?

  2. Um, did you chowderheads *read* what was in the article? Including the snippet about Woolworth’s wanting to register this logo such things as ‘apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images… calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers… computer devices and computer peripheral devices… [and] computer hardware and software’? Seems like Apple is, at the very least, right to be concerned about this.

  3. MacItnosher,

    Woolworths is a highly successful and profitable Australian retailer. Australian consumers focus more on price and retailing experience and I bet “Woolies” can afford millions to convince Oz consumers about such a change

  4. @XJM: You apparently didn’t read the article. This may be the most important trademark suit that Apple has ever pursued in its history as a company, because of what Woolworth’s is trying to do with the (very similar-looking) logo.

  5. I would’ve said Apple is tainting their brand by this stupid stuff but if indeed woolworth does intend to put the logo on said electronic items, that is coming too close. Good catch that Apple caught it so quick

  6. Hmm. Thought Woolworth was bought up by some shoe company in the states. Yep, they are known as Foot Locker.
    It appears a separate company overseas licensed the name for their retail stores.

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