Apple Of Their i: Apple Sues Aussie Woolworths Over Trademark


Mother Nature, watch out. Apple Inc. is on the warpath against any and all use of apples in corporate logos.

After highly publicized lawsuits against The Beatles, The City of New York, and a Canadian business school, Apple has set their litigious gaze on Australian supermarket chain Woolworths (not part of the US “five and dime” retailer).

Aussie Woolworths introduced their logo, an apple formed by a cursive “W” topped with a right-leaning leaf, in August 2008 to little fanfare. According to Daily Finance, it wasn’t until they submitted a trademark application to place the icon on new consumer products — including electronic goods — that Apple’s interest was piqued. Apple claims that the Woolworths logo will compete for market share and create confusion in the minds of consumers.[more]

The two logos bear little resemblance beyond the fruit that bore them. Apple Inc.’s logo protectionism starts to seem desperate, ultimately a disservice to the brand. Instead of pursuing legal action against so-called “imitators,” with far-fetched claims that that consumers may confuse an Aussie supermarket with the maker of the iPod, Apple should embrace the apple’s spread across popular culture.

The Apple logo is an marginal identifier in Apple products. Consumers go to stores looking for an “i”, as in iPod, iPhone or iMac, not an Apple.

Apple doesn’t need to worry. Its consumers are keen observers of brands and hyperaware of suspicious imitators. They know what they’re getting when they buy Apple. They love the logo and brand packaging, but they respond to Apple because of it offers an established record as the premier company for service, performance and cutting-edge technology.

What do you think? Is Apple going too far, or is it right to be concerned about use of the apple by companies whose goods may encroach upon consumer electronics? And is their claim on the apple so overriding that they have the right to block all these uses?