Apple is taking legal action against a small company because of its pear-shaped logo and requires the company to change the logo, which would be similar to Apple’s.
The American technology giant Apple has taken legal action against a small company called Prepear, which is an application and service that makes it easier for people to plan their meals and find new recipes. The cause of action: Prepear chose to use a pear-shaped fruit as its logo, which is too similar to Apple’s logo, according to a message posted on Instagram by the company’s founders. The message describes Apple’s action as “a blow to Prepear,” and indicates the intention to keep the original logo and “send a message to large technology companies that intimidation of small businesses has consequences.
The Prepear company has been in existence for 5 years. It is an application that allows users to store all their recipes in one place, plan their meals, make shopping lists, and have their groceries delivered to the same place. The application is a derivative of Super Healthy Kids, which offers recipes and feeding strategies and shares tips and organizational tools for parents. The founders say they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple is said to disagree with the Prepear logo, arguing that its attributes are too similar to its own logo.
“Apple opposed the trademark application for our small company, Prepear, requiring us to change our logo, which is obviously pear-shaped, used to represent our brand in recipe management and meal planning,” wrote the founders of Prepear in a post on Instagram asking for help. Prepear is a small company with only five employees, and the founders say legal fees have already cost them “several thousand dollars”, plus the dismissal of one team member, in their legal battle against the iPhone manufacturer.
In a petition on Change.org, Prepear is asking users to sign to ask Apple to drop its opposition to the Prepear logo and “help prevent large technology companies from abusing their position of power by attacking small companies that are already struggling because of the effects of Covid-19.
Prepear also points out that before “attacking us, Apple opposed dozens of other trademark applications filed by small companies with fruit-related logos. According to Prepear, many of these small companies have had to change their logos or even give up and shut down, as the limited means of most of them did not allow them to fight the iPhone manufacturer in a lawsuit costing tens of thousands of dollars.
“It’s a very terrifying experience to be legally attacked by one of the world’s largest companies, even though we clearly haven’t done anything wrong, and we understand why most companies just give in and change their logos,” the Prepear founders’ message on Change.org says. We feel a moral obligation to take a stand against Apple’s aggressive lawsuit against small businesses and fight for the right to keep our logo,” they added.
SENDING A MESSAGE AGAINST THE BULLYING OF SMALL BUSINESSES BY THE LARGEST TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES
According to Prepear, Apple has opposed small businesses with fruit-related logos by launching costly lawsuits, even when these logos do not resemble the Apple logo at all or are not in the same industry as Apple. “We’re defending ourselves against Apple not only to keep our logo but also to send a message to large technology companies that intimidation of small businesses has consequences,” said the company’s founders.
The iPhone In Canada website says it received, on Sunday, more details on the trademark application for the pear-shaped logo of Prepear, a free application available for download on iOS and Android. In an email sent to the website, chief operating officer Russ Monson says Prepear has been registering its trademark for the logo since January 2017 and that the U.S. trademark office finally told it “that it was not in conflict with other registered trademarks and that it would publish it for opposition.
Everything seemed to be coming to an end when, on the “last day of the opposition period for the trademark, we were informed that Apple had requested an extension of the opposition period, and then requested further extensions, which placed our trademark in a legal limbo for a long period”.
According to Prepear’s email, Apple filed its effective opposition on the last day it was legally entitled to do so. According to Monson, the additional extensions filed resulted in additional legal costs for the small company, and to him, these extensions “seemed to have been designed by their legal team to be as long, difficult and expensive as possible for us.
Monson goes on to explain that Prepear was “naive enough” to think that they could discuss the issue with Apple in a rational manner, as the two logos are different. But this was not the case and the opposition has now reached the “discovery phase”, which, according to the COO, “will be the most expensive part of this case for us”. However, Prepear decided to move on to this phase at Apple’s request.
“We believe that this case is clearly frivolous and that once the public is aware of Apple’s position on this issue, Apple will be more willing to drop the case rather than let the public see how it is clearly hurting us for no apparent justifiable reason,” said Monson in his email to iPhone In Canada.
OTHER COMPANIES HAVE ALREADY CHANGED THEIR LOGOS AS A RESULT OF APPLE’S LAWSUITS.
Some companies whose logos (below) were attacked by Apple under the same conditions have given up. But the founders of Prepear say they are lucky enough to attract enough media attention “to expose this practice by Apple.
Other logos have also been the source of legal actions brought by Apple in the past, such as the case against a Norwegian political party and a German bicycle path. The logo of the political party in question depicts a red apple with a stem, a green leaf and has the letter F in white on the front. Apple wrote a letter to the Norwegian Patent and Trademark Office stating that this logo with a red apple looks like its own logo.
In 2009, Apple also attacked Woolworths, an Australian supermarket chain, which had just changed its logo. Woolworths insisted at the time that its logo is nothing more or less than a stylized “W”, but Apple claimed it was an apple and therefore asked them to stop using it! Hans Hulsbosch, the creator of the logo, said at the time that the protection of the Apple logo was “taken to extremes”. “Based on this logic, they should attack all fruit sellers.
Prepear says they are not asking for a boycott of Apple products, but they are asking the iPhone manufacturer to “stop attacking small businesses in frivolous affairs that seem designed to make them spend so much money and time thinking about the business instead of focusing on how to grow business and ensure to survive the current economic crisis.
The petition on Change.org has now received 20,000 signatures, and Prepear hopes that Apple will drop the case before moving on to more costly discovery and trial phases. Otherwise, small businesses should give up using fruit as a logo for their brand.