Apple has filed a claim with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USTPO) to block a trademark application by a meal prep company that uses a pear as its logo. Apple claims the pear will be confused with its own iconic Apple logo. Now, the small company has been forced to lay off one of its few employees to afford its legal battle with the Silicon Valley giant.
According to a report by the Verge, Apple is attempting to block a trademark registration by the small meal prep startup Prepear that uses a minimalist pear design as its logo.
The Verge: Apple has filed a notice of opposition against a meal prep company because it claims the Prepear app’s pear logo is too close to Apple’s own trademarked apple logo. https://t.co/ij9gUj7LjJ
— Champ (@originalchamp) August 10, 2020
Apple claims that the pear design “creates a similar commercial impression” to consumers. In its filing with the USTPO, Apple goes as far as to suggest that the logo will lead consumers to believe that Prepear is associated with Apple.
“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 filing reads. “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.”
At the time of this writing, a petition that calls on Apple to drop its opposition to Prepear’s logo had reached nearly 30,000 signatures. In the petition, Prepear co-owner Russell Monson said that the company was forced to lay off one of its few employees due to the legal costs associated with fighting Apple’s trademark claim.
“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,” Russell Monson wrote.
Prepear co-owner Natalie Monson pushed back against Apple in a post on Instagram. Monson described Apple’s trademark claim as “aggressive legal action” that is designed to overpower a small business.
“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,” Natalie Monson wrote. “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.”
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