Apple has protested the use of Woolworths' new apple-shaped trademark, which looks similar to the well-known brand image loved by Mac fans worldwide.
The logos in question (Credit: Woolworths and Apple)
Woolworths lodged the new trademark last year in August: the
letter w, formed in the shape of a peeled apple with a leaf on top.
Although IP Australia — the Australian intellectual property
administrator — made public in December that it had accepted Woolworths'
application for the trademark (for the supermarket to
be able to keep it), it next needed to withstand any opposition it might encounter.
Unfortunately for Woolworths, Apple didn't like the
similarity of the revamped brand to its own carefully guarded
stamp and filed opposition to the registration, which also covered product categories such as computers, in March.
As yet, however, Apple has failed to
provide supporting evidence for its claim. It had been called upon
to provide its reasons for opposition in June, according to an IP Australia database, but received an
extension until September. It seems that the company has also
recently asked for another extension. IP Australia's
database did not make it clear as to whether that extension has
been granted. An IP Australia spokesperson was unable to provide
clarification on this issue at the time of publication.
Once evidence has been heard, generally there will be a hearing
after which a decision is reached, according to the IP Australia website. Appeals to the decisions go to the Federal Court.
Woolworths would not comment on the matter other than to say that it
would await IP Australia's decision. Apple did not respond to
requests for comment at the time of publication.
Apple has been embroiled in another intellectual property case this year. It filed an appeal in the Federal Court at the start of 2009 when IP Australia ruled that the opposition by computer equipment supplier Macpro Computers
to Apple registering the trademark name "MacPro" was founded. The case is ongoing.