So the latest victim of Apple’s eagle-eyed legal team is an online Polish grocery website. The top level domain for Poland is .pl and there’s a website called a.pl which is a kind of online deli store that does home delivery.
Apple has apparently filed a complaint with the Polish Patent Office claiming that the Polish company copied one of Apple’s logos on its website, despite the fact that the company is no longer using the logo in question. A Polish patent office spokesman Adam Taukert reportedly said:
“Apple brand is widely recognized and the company says that A.pl, by using the name that sounds similar, is using Apple’s reputation”
Radoslaw Celinski is the Polish company’s chief executive and he responded by saying “The accusation is ludicrous”.
How can an online Polish grocery be using Apple’s reputation? Is it likely that anyone would actually confuse the two and assume America’s biggest company just got into the deli business? We’re not sure if this is just about the a.pl name or as The Next Web is suggesting possibly about the logo below. Surely Apple isn’t claiming ownership of all representations of apples now?
Apple actually had a long running dispute with The Beatles over the Apple name. Apple Corps filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer back in 1978 for trademark infringement and the suit was settled in 1981 on the condition that Apple never enter the music business. When they did, Apple Corps sued again and in 1991 there was another settlement. The battle kicked off again a few years after that and Apple won a court ruling. The argument was finally settled in 2007 when reports suggested Apple Computer bought out Apple Corps’ trademark rights for a total of $500 million.
Apparently this case could take a while to sort out and the details aren’t public so we don’t know exactly what each side is arguing yet. We’ll keep you posted.