Apple Sues Orchard for Logo Infringement

Sep 21, 2012

Apple Inc. has announced today a lawsuit seeking to protect its distinctive 'bitten apple' logo from "blatant and abusive trademark infringement".

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleges that Michigan-based Apple Charlie's Orchards of "knowingly copying and distributing for commercial purposes a logo which infringes upon the look and feel of our trademarked design."

Apple is asking the court to ban the family-owned apple farm and cider mill from operating in the United States for five years and force it to pay substantial compensatory and punitive damages.

The Cupertino, CA based company has come under fire in recent months for its legal battles with Samsung and other Android phone manufacturers it says have "stolen" its intllecual property to better compete in the smartphone market.

Critics accuse Apple of pursuing petty nusiance claims over industry standard features in order to stifle its rivals' product development. Apple says it is simply defending its "right to innovate".

Not Far From The Tree

Previously limited to patents, the Apple Charlie's case is the first time Apple has applied its new-found litigiousness to trademarks.

Bruce Sewell, Apple's Senior Vice-President of Legal and Government Affairs explains that the company had no choice but to act aggressively:

"Sure a lot of companies have apples in their logos. Apples are a very common fruit. But this apple has a bite taken out of it.  And so does ours. That makes all the differnce. These scumbags are clearly trying to piggyback on our popularity, and we're not going to stand for it."

Bill Brighton, manager of Apple Charlie's, tells a different story:

"I don't know what their lawyers are talking about. When we designed the logo in 1996, we just took a clipart file and put our name over it. We were thinking about apples - which are our livelihood - not Apple Computer. Weren't they practically bankrupt then anyway?"

Brighton says black vans have been circling his farm for weeks taking photos of every sign which contains the logo, and his iPhone mysteriously stopped working the day after the suit was filed.

Apple is seeking $7 million in compenstory damages, plus $2 millon for the "emotional distress" the situation has caused its employees.

"We have thousands of people trying desperately to work knowing another company has a similar, uglier logo to that of their employer," Sewell explains "You can't put a price on the pain and suffering that causes. But we've tried."

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  • Jacob Mustian

    News Update: Bruce Sewell and Apple’s team of attorney’s missed their arbitration after getting lost on the way to the courthouse. Apparently using the turn by turn navigation with Apple Maps wasn’t their best decision before driving into a lake.

  • 430189

    We need to just ban everything apple. Look from the very beginning of time, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and they are from that fruit all hell broke loose. People we need to ban it from the whole wide world NOW!!!

  • Ben
  • SoTiredOfPettyLawsuits

    Don’t mess with our beloved family farm! In Michigan, they are more popular than the electronics company. And to call an innocent family farm “scumbags” is just ridiculous. Grow up, Apple! Just because Steve Jobs isn’t around anymore to give you guys the ideas, doesn’t mean you need to keep up via lawsuit!

  • ZAQ

    I know this was a year ago but I really don’t care….
    The bible actually never says it was an apple that was eaten.

  • 430189

    bc I get notifications, I see you responded, it is called sarcasim! Jeez!