Apple takes umbrage with small company’s pear logo, legally opposes trademark

Oranges and pear-related logos appear to be in the firing line.

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The Apple logo, in its latest form, is simple and classic, with clean lines and a shape easy to remember and recognize. 

It appears that the use of fruit in newly-registered logos or trademarks is monitored closely by Apple. While this is understandable due to the iPhone maker's wish to protect its brand, a legal filing, dated March 25, reveals Apple's opposition to a recipe maker's logo and also highlights the ramifications of such objections to small companies. 

As reported by iPhone in Canada, Prepear is at the heart of the legal objection. Developed by Super Healthy Kids, Prepear is a recipe plan, grocery list, and meal organizer mobile application on iOS and Android. 

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Prepear

In an Instagram post, the app's developer said Apple has objected to the firm's logo, claiming that the pear used is "too close" to the Apple logo and hurts the Apple brand. 

The filing also cites brand confusion and dilution caused by "blurring." 

According to the publication, the trademark was filed in 2017 and accepted by the US Trademark Office. It was only on the last day possible for objections to be filed that Apple did so. 

"To fight this it will cost tens of thousands of dollars," Prepear claims. "The CRAZY thing is that Apple has done this to dozens of other small business fruit logo companies, and many have chosen to abandon their logo or close doors."

Prepear has launched a change.org petition in an attempt to convince Apple to drop legal action as the process reaches the discovery phase, a particularly expensive part of the process. 

The company has only five members and says that fighting Apple on this matter could cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

While acknowledging that taking on Apple is a "very terrifying prospect," the app developers say they feel a "moral obligation" to fight for the right to keep their logo. The cost of the legal battle has already reportedly resulted in the layoff of a team member.

At the time of writing, the petition has gathered over 23,000 signatures. 

Other companies using fruit logos -- including oranges and pears -- faced similar objections and did not fight their corner, Prepear told iPhone in Canada. 

"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," Prepear added. 

ZDNet has reached out to Apple with additional queries and will update when we hear back.