Apple vs. the Big Apple

150_apple_vs_appleNew York City's GreeNYC campaign has a logo that looks like an apple. It makes sense, as the city is known as The Big Apple. But Apple Inc. says it infringes on their trademark. The computer company has filed in injunction in New York’s trademark application.
The Cupertino, California, company calls for the trademark to be denied, claiming the city's logo will confuse people and "seriously injure the reputation which [Apple] has established for its goods and services."

New York says: Getdafugoutaheya.

"The city believes that Apple's claims have no merit and that no consumer is likely to be confused," says Gerald Singleton, the intellectual-property lawyer representing the Big Apple. "This well-known city is using its new design in a variety of contexts that have absolutely nothing to do with Apple Inc."

The dispute is likely to take several months to resolve.

(image credit: NYC & Company)

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I use Apple computers and have for years after getting fed up with PCs. I definitely favor the OS more than any other because of it's simplicity and reliability. I like them, but I'm not about to paste their logo everywhere and start wearing black long-sleeved shirts with jeans. When Apple does crap like going after NY (or the Beatles' label) I just shake my head. Nobody's going to mistake that GreeNYC for a computer, and selling that fruit in grocery stores is not going to 'confuse the consumer'. Pulleeze. Stop being so petty.
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It's actually a trademark issue - not a copyright one.

When you apply for a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark office, new applications are published by the office for public comment (i.e. to give trademark holders opportunity to peruse new applications to see if there are anything that may conflict).

Because a company doesn't normally want to spend its time watching the list, they contract services that specialize in doing so. Naturally, to justify their expenses, these services pounce on ANYTHING that resembles - or potentially resembles - the trademark they're paid to watch.

A trademark lawyer's bread and butter is to rebut new trademark applications on behalf of their clients (about 0.5 hours worth of work cutting and pasting a letter from their repertoire of past letters, and they bill for 7 hours) - they submit letters to the USPTO, which will then decide whether to grant the applicant the trademark or not.

How do I know this? I've trademarked stuff in the past - with a lawyer and by myself :)
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