Seemingly unsatisfied with being among the most recognizable brands on the planet, earlier this year tech giant Apple filed a notice of opposition against a recipe and meal-planning app, Prepear, that had the temerity to set as their logo as a “minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf” — gasp! According to the complaint, Prepear’s logo “readily calls to mind Apple’s famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression.”
According to the suit, the use of these signature motifs in the logo, plus the overlap of Prepear’s work in the online space, leads to the likelihood that consumers might confuse it for an Apple product, despite it being, you know, a green outlined pear instead of a solid apple. Prepear is pushing back with an online “Save the Pear” petition that has surpassed 180,000 signatures, rallying to “end Apple’s aggressive opposition of businesses with fruit logos.”
Apple has a history of using its resources to push even marginally similar IP out of the field. According to reporting by the Verge, in 2019, the tech company sent an objection letter to the patent office in Norway, alleging that the full-color, cartoonish logo of political party Fremskrittspartiet too closely resembled its own; Apple also objected to the logo of a cycling path in Germany.
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Dear Instagram Friends- I NEED YOUR HELP! I know there are a lot of heavy things going on in the world right now, and this is nothing in comparison, but I need your help in a situation that is affecting me, my family, and my coworkers. Please help! Many of you know that I started a business called Prepear almost 5 years ago. It is an app that you can store all your recipes in one place, plan your meals, make grocery lists, and get your groceries delivered all in one place. Recently @apple yes, The trillion dollar Apple, has decided to oppose and go after our small business’ trademark saying our pear logo is too close to their apple logo and supposedly hurts their brand? This is a big blow to us at Prepear. To fight this it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. The CRAZY thing is that Apple has done this to dozens of other other small business fruit logo companies, and many have chosen to abandon their logo, or close doors. 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. I’m not trying to get anyone to stop using or buying Apple products. 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. 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. HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1 Sign the petition (link in my bio or in my stories) 2 Share that same link on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. http://chng.it/QPd2mRYW #savethepearfromapple
Apple is seeking to have Prepear’s trademark registration application denied, embroiling the small company in what is sure to be a costly legal battle.
“This is a big blow to us at Prepear,” wrote co-founder Natalie Monson, who owns and operates Prepear, on the Instagram of its parent company, SuperHealthyKids. She continued:
To fight this it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. The CRAZY thing is that Apple has done this to dozens of other other small business fruit logo companies, and many have chosen to abandon their logo, or close doors. 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.
Monson, and her husband and co-founder Russell, have a small staff, and say they are are already feeling the impact of this lawsuit.
“We are a very small business with only 5 team members, and legal costs from our fight for the right of all small business owners to be able to develop their own logo without fear of frivolous litigation has already cost us many thousands of dollars and the very saddening layoff of one of our team members,” wrote Russell Monson, in the online petition.
In a world brimming with inequality, a battle over a fruit logo is hardly the greatest injustice, but it is inarguably a shameful route for a trillion-dolllar behemoth to push around a small family-owned business over the most marginal of IP claims. Then again, Steve Jobs was famously a huge jerk. It seems, perhaps, the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.