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
21 weeks ago
can we not eat apples now?
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
21 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
21 weeks ago
Oh go **** YOURSELF Apple. How completely absurd
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arvinsim Avatar
21 weeks ago
Lay off it, Apple.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
julesme Avatar
21 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
21 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

home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
Shazam Music Recognition Control Center

iPhone's Built-In Music Recognition Feature Syncs With Shazam App on iOS 16

Tuesday June 21, 2022 7:37 am PDT by
Since the release of iOS 14.2 in 2020, the iPhone has included a built-in Music Recognition feature in Control Center powered by Shazam. And with iOS 16, and also the iOS 15.6 beta, the feature has received a small but useful upgrade. As noted by Twitter user @someone_andrew, songs identified with Music Recognition in Control Center finally sync with the Shazam app. It also remains...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers

Wednesday June 22, 2022 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming two weeks after Apple unveiled the new software at WWDC and released the initial betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. Given...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...