WTF?! It must be a slow day in Apple’s legal department. The tech giant has filed a trademark lawsuit against a tiny app maker over the use of a pear in its logo. Yes, not an apple, a pear.
Apple filed a notice of opposition against app developer and fitness startup Super Healthy Kids over the logo the company uses for its Prepear recipe app. The company tried to register a trademark on its logo, but Cupertino said it too closely resembles Apple’s branding and could create confusion that the companies’ products are related.
Oddly, Prepear’s logo looks nothing like the tech giant’s iconic solid apple with the bite taken out of it. It’s a green outlined pear shape with a stem and leaf. According to the filing, it is the leaf that seems to be Apple’s primary point of contention.
“Applicant’s Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf, which readily calls to mind Apple’s famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression. The Apple Marks are so famous and instantly recognizable that the similarities in Applicant’s Mark will overshadow any differences and cause the ordinary consumer to believe the Applicant is related to, affiliated with or endorsed by Apple.”
It seems a stretch if you compare the logos side-by-side (masthead). The color scheme and shape are entirely different. Even the “right-angled leaf” is angled downward on the pear as opposed to Apple’s upward-angled leaf. Apple claims that since it offers “identical” or “highly related goods and service” as Prepear, consumers could confuse the various “health care, nutrition, general wellness, and social networking” products Apple sells.
The startup’s co-founder Russell Monson feels this is a case of big tech bullying small companies that struggle to get off the ground and can’t afford the legal costs to defend themselves.
“We are a very small business with only [five] team members,” wrote Monson in a petition to rally support against Apple’s move. “We are defending ourselves against Apple not only to keep our logo but to send a message to big tech companies that bullying small businesses has consequences.”
Monson says that the legal battle has resulted in the company having to layoff one of its five employees. Monson’s wife and co-owner of the company took to Instagram to raise awareness to the cause.
“While the rest of the world is going out of their way to help small businesses during this pandemic, Apple has chosen to go after our small business,” she said. “I feel a moral obligation to take a stand against Apple’s aggressive legal action against small businesses and fight for the right to keep our logo.”
As of this writing, their petition has gathered almost 29,000 signatures.