Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
- Apple is reportedly attempting to gain IP rights to images of apples in Switzerland.
- This could result in a 111-year-old fruit company being forced to change its logo.
Apple is no stranger to fruit-based litigation, but it seems like the company’s latest venture might be the strangest one yet. The iPhone maker is currently attempting to gain intellectual property rights to images of actual apples in Switzerland, Wired UK reports.
If Apple is successful with its bid, this could result in Fruit Union Suisse, a 111-year-old company, being forced to change its logo (seen below).
“We have a hard time understanding this, because it’s not like they’re trying to protect their bitten apple,” Fruit Union Suisse director Jimmy Mariéthoz was quoted as saying by the outlet.
“Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal… that should be free for everyone to use.”
Wired notes that Apple first tried to secure the fruit trademark in Switzerland in 2017, when it filed an application for a black-and-white depiction of a Granny Smith apple. Indeed, it applied for an image of a whole apple rather than its trademark apple with a bite.
The country’s IP institute partially granted Apple’s request last month, but only for some of the product categories the iPhone maker sought. The institute cited a legal principle that declares generic pictures of common goods to be in the public domain. Apple filed an appeal against the ruling in April 2023.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen big tech companies attempt to trademark common terms or goods. However, a study by the Tech Transparency Project found that Apple filed more trademark oppositions over a three-year period than Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook combined.