Apple Targeting Indie Director Over 'Apple-Man' Film Title Trademark

Apple is unhappy with the "Apple-Man" title that indie film director Vasyl Moskalenko is planning to use for a comedy film that's in development, with the Cupertino company opposing Moskalenko's "Apple-Man" trademark registration application. (via iPhone in Canada).

apple man film trademark
Moskalenko in 2020 launched a successful Kickstarter project for "Apple-Man," an action comedy film that's about a part-human part-apple superhero who can levitate apples, and now that the film is in post-production, Apple is taking issue with the "Apple-Man" name. In a YouTube video, Moskalenko explains that Apple opposed the Apple-Man trademark and "initiated trial proceedings," sending him a 467-page document "full of lawyer terminology."


"My film has nothing to do with Apple corporation," Moskalenko says in the video. "I've never mentioned anything about MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and so on. Not a single word." Moskalenko says that his movie is about apples, "the fruits." Apple appears to be concerned that consumers will think "Apple-Man" is associated with or approved by Apple.

In an appeal to Apple, Moskalenko says that he has "nothing but respect" for the company, and that his film is in no way related to the iPhone, MacBooks, or other Apple products.

Dear Apple company, I understand that you want to protect your business and your product from any negative impact in any possible way, but under no circumstances do I have any intent to harm your brand with my movie. There are no negative associations or negative connotations with this production.

And I would be happy to forward you a final cut to judge for yourself. I'm not going to produce cell phones, computers, software, anything that might be deemed to conflict with your brand. I just want to make a comedy movie about a superhero with a super power that is related with everyone's favorite fruit.

Moskalenko says that he is "open to any negotiations" and hopes that he can reach an agreement with Apple. He also told ‌iPhone‌ in Canada that he is worried he'll have to spend his Kickstarter money on litigation.

Should his trademark registration be denied, Moskalenko is also concerned that Apple would be able to demand that the film is deleted following its release. "It actually looks like trademark bullying," he said to ‌iPhone‌ in Canada.

Apple has gotten involved in other major trademark disputes over designs that seem to have little relation to the company. Last year, Apple opposed the trademark of Prepear because the pear-shaped logo looked too much like Apple's own logo. Prepear and Apple were able to settle the issue after Prepear made small tweaks to the leaf design of the pear.

Top Rated Comments

macsorcery Avatar
16 weeks ago
can we not eat apples now?
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
16 weeks ago
Apple is a bully. There's nothing on that movie poster that would make anyone think the movie is about Steve Jobs or Apple. And no one has any interest in making a movie about Tim.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
16 weeks ago
Oh go **** YOURSELF Apple. How completely absurd
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arvinsim Avatar
16 weeks ago
Lay off it, Apple.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
julesme Avatar
16 weeks ago
Copyright is not the same as trademark. He is free to name the movie whatever he wants in the United States, as there is typically no copyright protection for titles of books, movies, etc.

On the other hand, trademarks are strictly enforced, and if he tries to register a trademark, then Apple (the computer company) has every right to defend their own trademark to the extent that there is any potential conflict, which seems highly unlikely in this case.

Broadly speaking, it's not clear why he needs a trademark at all. The lack of a trademark will not prevent him from releasing a film, book, etc...
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
16 weeks ago
Usually a trademark owner has to defend their mark or they'd lose their proprietary interest in the mark.

I agree it seems a little excessive in this case, but that's how the law works - defend it or potentially lose it. e.g. laches etc in trademark law.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

dji action cam

Hands-On With DJI's Action 2 Camera and Mic

Friday February 25, 2022 10:37 am PST by
Back in November, camera and drone company DJI released its Action 2 Camera, introducing an interchangeable and adaptive magnetic design for accessories, a lighter weight chassis, camera improvements, and other updates for those who want to film their adventures. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with the DJI Action 2 to...
tim cook apple park

Tim Cook Reportedly Attending the Oscars on Sunday

Friday March 25, 2022 7:55 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook will attend the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday as Apple TV+ is nominated for several Oscar awards, according to the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter and founding partner of Puck, Matthew Belloni. Cook's attendance at the event is due the fact that Apple is nominated for a total of six Oscar awards. The six nominations include best picture for the film...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares 'Shot on iPhone 13 Pro' Film Celebrating Chinese New Year

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:02 pm PST by
Apple today shared a short film called "The Comeback," which has been released in celebration of Chinese New Year. Created by director Zhang Meng, the video kicks off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son, and a forgotten village with an "out-of-this-world dream." The 23 minute film was shot using the latest iPhone (which is the iPhone 13 Pro) like all of the videos in...
comcast apple tv

Apple TV+ Launching for Comcast Xfinity Customers Starting Today

Monday March 7, 2022 8:01 am PST by
Apple and Comcast today announced that Apple TV+ will be available across Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV on all eligible devices starting today and in the coming days. As part of the expansion of TV+ across Comcast services, Apple will be offering Xfinity customers access to the "first seasons of many of its most popular shows, as well as the blockbuster Apple Original film...
moment iphone 13 case

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a $500 Gift Card From Moment

Friday March 25, 2022 9:17 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Moment to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a $500 gift card that can be used to purchase anything from the Moment site, including the company's MagSafe accessories, iPhone camera lenses, iPhone cases, camera bags, microphones, and more. Moment bills itself as the marketplace for photographers and filmmakers, and the site has long been...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares 'A Dozen Eggs' Shot on iPhone Video

Thursday November 18, 2021 1:08 pm PST by
Apple today shared a new video in its ongoing "Shot on iPhone" series, this time commissioned from French film director Michel Gondry, known for movies like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Be Kind Rewind," "The Green Hornet," and "The Science of Sleep." The video focuses on eggs in various fantasy settings and situations, ending with an iPhone shot of chickens. The entire short...
chris evans scarlett johansson

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans to Star in Apple TV+ Movie 'Ghosted'

Monday August 30, 2021 4:11 am PDT by
Apple TV+ has another high-profile movie project in the works, reports Deadline. Titled "Ghosted," the upcoming romantic action adventure will star Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. The movie will be directed by Dexter Fletcher (director of "Rocketman") and produced by Skydance studios, with a script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the writers of the Deadpool films and "Zombieland," and...
apple tv plus tragedy of macbeth

Apple's 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' to Premiere at the London Film Festival

Monday August 23, 2021 11:11 am PDT by
Upcoming Apple TV+ movie "The Tragedy of Macbeth" is set to premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on the final day of the event, Sunday, October 17. Apple also plans to offer preview screenings of the film at London Film Festival partner cinemas across the UK. Written by Joel Coen, "The Tragedy of Macbeth" is set to star Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. Filmed entirely in black ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...