LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Apple is reportedly worrying Fruit Union Suisse, the oldest and largest association of Swiss fruit growers, which has been in business for 111 years.
You’ll understand exactly where this story is going after we see what the corporation uses as its logo.
The company has marketed its brand with a logo that consists of a red Apple with the Swiss flag overlaid on top of it throughout the majority of its existence. But because of Apple, that logo could need to be altered.
The digital behemoth is suing Switzerland for the Intellectual Property (IP) rights to an actual apple.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) documents, Apple has tried this strategy internationally.
Apple has received the IP rights to a piece of fruit in nations like Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Armenia.
In Spain, Apple is the legal owner of the intellectual property rights to utilize a Granny Smith apple in a variety of products and services.
Jimmy Mariéthoz, director of Fruit Union Suisse, said: “We have a hard time comprehending this since it’s not like they [Apple] are trying to safeguard their bitten apple.
“Their main goal in this situation is to have ownership of an actual apple, which is something that is practically universal to us. things everyone ought to be able to utilize for free.”
Apple filed a request for the IP rights to a realistic, black-and-white image of a Granny Smith apple with the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) in 2017.
This was the beginning of Apple’s pursuit of the IP rights to an apple in Switzerland.
For some of the products it sought protection for, the business received the rights it sought to utilize this image on consumer gadgets.
According to the IPI, commonplace pictures of apples are regarded as being in the public domain.
Also, Apple challenged the ruling in April of last year, and the dispute before Swiss courts solely concerns the goods for which Apple was unable to obtain an apple trademark.
Apple has allegedly been aggressive in defending its intellectual property and has pursued potential infringers of its actual apple IP, which has Fruit Union’s Mariéthoz concerned.
The director of the Fruit Union Suisse stated, “We’re worried that any visual portrayal of an apple—so anything that’s audiovisual or connected to new technologies or to media—could potentially be impacted.
“We would be severely constrained by that. Every time we advertise with apples, theoretically, we may be stepping into dangerous territory.”
Apple has exercised its legal authority in relation to a meal planning and shopping list software that featured a pear logo, even suing singer Frankie Pineapple.
Even though the late Steve Jobs was a major fan of the Beatles, Apple pursued the band’s own record company, Apple Corps.
The latter matter was resolved in 2007, and it was agreed that Jobs would control the trademark and name and grant a license to the business of the Beatles.
Even if Apple is attempting to obtain the rights to a black and white image of an apple, this is actually a cunning move on the side of the firm since it may allow it to claim infringement by apple emblems of any color.
Irene Calboli, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law and a fellow at the University of Geneva, points out that in Switzerland, businesses with a long history of using a logo, like Fruit Union Suisse, are typically shielded from legal action from companies like Apple.
On the other hand, she claims that huge and highly valued corporations like Apple frequently intimidate smaller and less valuable enterprises into agreeing with their demands.
“The system is very much skewed toward those who have more money. Getting frightened about a possible legal battle could stop a small company from doing “something that might be perfectly lawful.”
Not just Apple but other tech companies have copyrighted the names of everyday objects. Both Amazon Prime and Microsoft’s Windows have achieved this.
A research for the years 2019–2021, however, showed that Apple filed more cases to safeguard its IP during that time than Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon put together.
Since employing the Swiss Federal Railways’ clock design for the iPad in iOS 6, Apple has been on the losing end and has been obliged to pay $21 million.