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'trademark' Articles

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office in 2018, was designed for a new cycling path named Apfelroute that is set to open in the Rhine-Voreifel region of Germany on May 19. Rhine-Voreifel Tourism has already used the logo on uniforms, bike racks, cycling maps, banners, signposts, and more. In addition to the appeal, lawyers representing Apple have reportedly sent letters to Rhine-Voreifel Tourism ordering them to stop using the logo, but the tourism agency believes it would be very expensive to do so. "With the Apfelroute we have a completely different product and it is unbelievable that such a large company is attacking us," said one company official. While it may sound unfair that a company as large as Apple is going after a small German tourist agency's cycling path logo, keep in mind that companies have an obligation to police and enforce their trademarks, as failure to do so could be viewed as abandonment, possibly resulting in the loss of trademark rights. Likewise, Apple recently objected to the apple logo trademark that a Norwegian political party registered last year. German reports suggest that Rhine-Voreifel Tourism narrowing the scope of the Apfelroute

Apple Extends iPod Touch Trademark to Include Gaming Devices

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month approved for publication a trademark application from Apple for the term "iPod touch" that would extend protection to cover "Hand-held units for playing electronic games; Handheld game consoles" under International Class 28 (games, toys, and sporting goods). Apple has held a trademark for the iPod touch name since 2008 under International Class 9 (audiovisual and information technology equipment) with the following description:Portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio and video files; computer software for use in organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio and video files on portable and handheld digital electronic devices. As part of its justification for the new trademark application under gaming consoles, Apple submitted a screenshot of its iPod touch overview page scrolled to the "Gaming" section, with red arrows calling out the product name and the "Buy" button. The iPod touch has of course been a handheld gaming console since its launch over a decade ago, so it's unclear why Apple has waited until now to extend its trademark coverage to include the area. It could be a purely defensive move to protect against competitors or other challenges, but given rumors last week of Apple working on a seventh-generation iPod touch some three and half years after the last update, there's naturally some speculation that there could be more to this. We

Apple Files New Trademark Application for Classic 'Rainbow' Logo

Apple has applied for a new U.S. trademark for its famous multicolor logo for use on apparel, reports The Blast. The Apple filing was processed in December by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Reporting and Monitoring System (TRAM), and is now being considered for approval. The description of the mark in the filing is of "an apple with a bite removed, with a detached leaf in green, and the apple divided into horizontal colored segments of the following colors (from top to bottom): green, yellow, orange, red, violet and blue". According to the application, the logo will be used for headgear, namely, hats and caps. Apple already sells t-shirts with the same logo emblazoned on the front at its Apple Park Visitor Center, so the filing likely relates to a possible extension of the existing clothing line, although there's no saying whether Apple will actually use the trademark or just wants to protect it against unofficial use. The classic multi-colored Apple logo was conceived by graphic designer Rob Janoff in 1977, but Steve Jobs axed the design when he returned to Apple in 1997 in favor of the monochromatic logo that continues to be used today. Janoff's "rainbow Apple" was actually created as a more modern, albeit playful replacement for Apple's first logo, which was designed in 1976 by Apple co-founder Ron Wayne. Sometimes referred to as Apple's "fifth Beatle", Wayne famously sold his stake in the company two weeks after it was founded. Wayne was a fan of the ornate line-drawing style of Victorian illustrated fiction, and used Sir Isaac Newton

Apple Sued for App Store Logo's Resemblance to Chinese Clothing Brand Logo

When Apple released the updated App Store as part of iOS 11, the App Store logo got an overhaul. Instead of an "A" made from a pencil, a paintbrush, and a ruler, Apple designed a simpler "A" that looks like it's constructed from popsicle sticks. As it turns out, Apple's App Store logo bears a resemblance to the logo used by a Chinese clothing brand named KON, and now KON is suing Apple. According to Phone Radar (via The Verge), KON believes Apple's new logo is a violation of Chinese copyright law. KON is a brand that's been around since 2009, and as The Verge discovered, Baidu Baike, the Chinese equivalent of Wikipedia, says the KON brand was inspired by music like the Sex Pistols, with the logo meant to represent three skeleton bones symbolizing power over death. KON wants Apple to publicly apologize for using its logo, stop selling devices using the current App Store logo, and pay compensation for economic loss. The Beijing People's Court has accepted the case and should make a ruling over the course of the next couple of weeks. Apple in 2016 lost a similar case involving the "IPHONE" trademark that was in use by Chinese leather goods manufacturer Xintong Tiandi Technology. In that case, Apple was aiming to protect its iPhone trademark to prevent Xintong Tiandi from using the iPhone name for its cases, but the Chinese courts ruled against

Apple Has Filed Trademarks for 'A10 Fusion' and 'iSight Duo'

Just hours after lawyer Brian Conroy unearthed several Apple trademark filings, including iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Iris Engine, AirPod Case, Touch Bar, Smart Button, Control Strip, and more, MacRumors reader Ryan Simmons has uncovered additional trademark applications for "A10 Fusion" and "iSight Duo" filed in Brunei. "iSight Duo" would be a logical name for the iPhone 7 Plus' widely rumored dual-lens camera system, but what "A10 Fusion" could represent is less clear. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to have faster A10 chips, while Apple's only use of "Fusion" is for the Fusion Drive, which combines flash (SSD) and hard drive (HDD) storage into a single volume on select iMac and Mac mini models. Both trademark applications were filed on June 8, 2016, while Simmons also uncovered recent trademark filings for "Depth" and "Writeboard," which could be features or functions related to the Apple Pencil. Assuming the "iSight Duo" dual-camera system has one telephoto lens, as rumored, "Depth" could alternatively pertain to depth of field photos on iPhone 7 Plus. It is likely that Apple's announcements at its iPhone event in San Francisco today will shed light on at least some of the trademark filings uncovered over the past two days. The keynote begins at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the

Trademark Filings Seemingly Confirm Apple's Work on Upcoming 'AirPods'

With it looking more and more like Apple is going to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, we've seen considerable speculation and discussion about the transition to either wired Lightning headphones or Bluetooth options. Looking at the wireless possibilities, the first iPhone 7 headphone jack rumors immediately reminded us of an "AirPods" trademark filing we discovered last October that seemed likely to be linked to Apple, although conclusive proof could not be found at the time. That AirPods trademark application was filed by a previously unknown company by the name of Entertainment in Flight LLC, which carried many of the hallmarks of being a shell company operated by Apple for the purposes of hiding its true identity. Apple has used such companies on many previous occasions, including for "iPad" and "CarPlay" that were ultimately used in product names and others such as "iWatch" that ended up scrapped in favor of other names. As the AirPods trademark has continued through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review process, additional documents have been filed that we believe confirm Apple is behind the filing while providing evidence Apple continues to have interest in protecting the name.

Apple Files Trademarks for Beats 2, 3, 4, and 5 Radio Stations

Apple filed trademark applications for the word marks B2, B3, B4, and B5 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November, including the matching marks Beats Two, Beats Three, Beats Four, and Beats Five, as spotted by French website Consomac [Google Translate]. The applications are currently pending review. All four trademark applications are assigned to "Beats Electronics, LLC," have the same logo that Apple uses for its Beats 1 radio station, and are listed under broadcasting- and streaming music-related categories, indicating that Apple could be planning an expansion of its Beats radio network in the future.Goods and Services: broadcasting and transmission of voice, data, images, music, audio, video, multimedia, television, and radio by means of telecommunications networks; broadcast and transmission of streamed music, audio, video, and multimedia content by means of telecommunications networks; matching users for the transfer of music, audio, video, and multimedia by means of telecommunications networks; providing access to websites, databases, electronic bulletin boards, on-line forums, directories, music, and video and audio programsApple's licensing terms with record labels reportedly give the company permission to create up to five additional radio stations like Beats 1 without needing to negotiate new terms. Apple could potentially launch additional Beats stations around the world, adding DJs in other countries or launching stations with a specific focus or genre. MacRumors previously discovered that Apple has registered domains such as beats2.com.cn,

Apple Likely Trying to File for 'AirPods' Trademark

Apple may be taking steps to protect the name "AirPods," based on recent trademark filings in a number of countries. While Apple itself is not directly linked to these applications, the pattern of filings is consistent with Apple's usual strategy and MacRumors believes Apple is indeed responsible for them. A trademark application for "AirPods" was made in the United States on September 22 by a company called Entertainment in Flight, LLC, a Delaware firm housed at the Corporation Trust Center, a strategy Apple has used a number of times in the past to hide its trademark work. The company was created in early September and appears to have no visible operations other than last week's trademark filing. We have been unable to find a concrete link between Apple and the AirPods trademark, but the evidence we've gathered is highly suggestive that Apple is indeed behind the filing. Assuming this is indeed the case, speculation then turns to the reasons why Apple is interested in the name. The trademark filing in International Class 9 includes mention of audio accessories, earphones, microphones, wireless communication devices, and similar types of products, and with Apple already calling its existing line of earphones "EarPods" it seems reasonable to speculate the "AirPods" name could be intended for a wireless version of the company's earphones.Audio components and accessories; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital video recorders and players; remote control apparatus; audio speakers; earphones, headphones; microphones; voice recording and recognition

Apple Likely Filed 'tvOS' Trademark for New Apple TV in November 2014

An overnight report from 9to5Mac claims the new operating system for the revamped Apple TV will be called "tvOS", and it appears Apple may indeed have moved to trademark that term as long ago as November 2014. A series of trademark filings for the name were made in mid-to-late May in a number of countries by a company called Television OnStream LLC, which appears to be a shell corporation created just days earlier and based out the Corporation Trust Center in Delaware. Apple commonly uses this tactic to hide its trademark filings, although many other companies employ similar strategies. The mid-May timing is also interesting given it occurred just a few weeks ahead of WWDC where Apple was rumored to be introducing the new Apple TV until what appeared to be a last-minute decision to push back the announcement to this month. All of the May trademark applications cite a priority date of November 2014 for a filing made in Jamaica, yet another of Apple's typical strategies for hiding trademarks. Jamaica is a frequent location for Apple's initial filings as the country does not publish an online database of trademark filings, making it difficult to track them down. In another similarity to Apple's previous trademark patterns, Television OnStream LLC conveniently shortens to an acronym of "tvOS", much as Apple previously hid its "iPad" trademark behind a company named IP Application Development. One final similarity between the "tvOS" filing and known Apple trademarks is the use of specific law firms to handle the filings. For example, Television OnStream used

Apple Being Sued in Europe Over 'iWatch' Ad Campaign on Google

Irish software development studio Probendi is suing Apple in a Milan court for using its "iWatch" trademark in Europe as part of a Google AdWords campaign, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been paying for sponsored links on Google in an attempt to redirect users that search for "iWatch" to the Apple Watch website, in order to avoid missing out on customers that search for the wrong product name.“Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch,” says a tribunal filing obtained by Bloomberg. “Apple never replied to our requests and objections, while Google said they are not responsible for links.” "iWatch" was a commonly used name to refer to Apple's much-rumored smartwatch before it was released, however the device was ultimately named the Apple Watch. Apple filed for "iWatch" trademarks in Japan, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey and other countries, but Probendi has owned the trademark in Europe since 2008 for its health and safety communication software. Google's AdWords trademark policy states that it "will investigate and may enforce certain restrictions on the use of that trademark in AdWords text ads," but the company has yet to take any action against Apple. As of writing, searching for "iWatch" on Google in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and multiple other European countries still displays Apple Watch sponsored text ads. Probendi originally planned to capitalize on Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch last year by using its "iWatch" trademark in

Apple Expands Company Trademarks to Cover Vehicles, but Similar Filings Date Back to 2003

Following several weeks of rumors about Apple's car-related projects, a recent move by the company to expand trademark coverage of the "Apple" name and iconic Apple logo in Switzerland to include vehicles is gaining attention, as noticed by ApfelBlog.ch [Google Translate] (via Cult of Mac). While the expansion, which also occurred in Mexico on the same date last month, is unsurprisingly sparking discussion about Apple's efforts in the automotive industry, it is not exactly a new development. Various other Apple trademark applications over the years have included protection under International Class 12, which covers vehicles and their accessories. A European Union filing from October 2003 describes a similar vehicle-related corporate trademark, and others such as a United Kingdom filing from last year have been filed since that time. Each trademark filing goes through the same basic motions in mentioning various types of vehicles and vehicle-related devices to be covered.Vehicles; Apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water; electronic hardware components for motor vehicles, rail cars and locomotives, ships and aircraft; Anti-theft devices; Theft alarms for vehicles; Bicycles; Golf carts; Wheelchairs; Air pumps; Motorcycles; Aftermarket parts (after-market parts) and accessories for the aforesaid goods. One issue with interpreting trademark applications is the common strategy of trying to cover as broad a base as possible in order to maximize protection, and thus it is difficult to tell whether Apple's new vehicle-related applications are related to the rumored