Apple Inc. have filed an opposition against a trade mark application “Apple-Man” with the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO). The application, filed by Ukrainian director Vasyl Moskalenko’s relates to an upcoming action comedy film called Apple-Man.
Apple filed the opposition back in December on grounds the pubic would mistake Apple-Man to be associated with Apple, thus diluting the popular well-known Apple brand. The opposition allegedly states: “Consumers are likely to assume, erroneously, that Applicant’s Mark is a further extension of the famous Apple brand.”
A legal representative for Moskalenko argues the term “apple” is not a proprietary word and therefore the movie will not mislead viewers. He also argues Apple Inc. want to take ownership of the word “Apple” in all industries. This is a similar accusation to that levelled against BSkyB in the UK who have had success in stopping people using ‘Sky’ as a part of their brand and shows the dangers of choosing brands similar to those owned by world famous companies.
A USPTO filing made by Moskalenko indicates he would like to settle the matter amicably as his resources are minimal in comparison to the millions of dollars Apple Inc. have to litigate the case. However, it is yet to be seen how the case will pan out. This is not the first trade mark opposition filed by Apple Inc. and needless to say, it likely won’t be the last but it will be interesting to see just how far the USPTO thinks Apple’s reputation extends.
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