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  • And You Thought Our Legal Issues with Apple were Out of Hand


    Check out these poor folks. The Victoria School of Business and Technology in Vancouver has fallen in Apple legal's cross-hairs as the next target under the premise that their logo is confusingly similar to Apple's logo.

    The school's president, Dieter Gerhard, says that "Our logo is unique and distinguishable in numerous aspects from the Apple logo including the acronym 'VSBT' being part of our logo," and also goes further saying "Are you suggesting that anyone using any variation of an apple for technology education is infringing on Apple's trademark?"

    Of course the claims from Apple lawyer Stephanie Vaccari are that the logo is "infringing Apple's rights," and also "falsely suggesting" Apple's approval over the design.

    Here at MMi we have had our fair share of dealings with Apple Legal concerning trademarks. While we still contend that our previous uses of both iPhone and iFone do not violate US laws we just don't have the resources that Apple does to take issues to court. The result was MMi not changing names just once, but finally settling in a second change.

    One of the main arguments from Apple legal with these kind of issues is that their consumers will be confused and think that other companies are Apple endorsed. In our case we don't believe we caused any confusion at all with out previous domain names. In the case of the Victoria School of Business and Technology are you joking Apple?

    Is there this little faith in consumers by Apple? I'm sure all of you reading this post never thought that this site was endorsed by Apple. I sure hope that there is no one out there that would get confused by the school's logo. Get real.

    edit: Oh yeah, by the way the school is a long time customer of Apple Inc. That's called customer appreciation.

    [via macnn]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: And You Thought Our Legal Issues with Apple were Out of Hand started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by skizo View Post
      They're battling New York over the "Big Apple" issue as well.

      Releaselog | RLSLOG.net Apple in dispute with New York over logo
      Holy S#%& I thought you were kidding... this is sad (but really it makes me LMAO because it is just THAT rediculous)
    1. Tylervalo's Avatar
      Tylervalo -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThinkTank View Post
      Pretty soon we won't be able to buy apple fruit from the supermarkets !!!
      We'll still be able to buy them, but they will be called "The fruit formerly know as apple".
    1. ghandioncesaid's Avatar
      ghandioncesaid -
      When does Johnny Appleseed get his cut?

      On a more serious note... the background of the VSBT logo is silver which is in line with Apple's logo also the leaf points the same direction. The only striking differences are the addition of color and an ACRONYM. I think Apple has a case, being in the software business, VSBT's logo implies a relationship with Apple which they do not endorse.

      Sure, the apple is a universal symbol but is most commonly red and also has a stem, so if VSBT wished to use an apple without copying Apple Inc. there are many other design directions that should have been examined.

      Apple wins this one hands down.
    1. Fear1508's Avatar
      Fear1508 -
      Lol wtf, does apple have like a team that just looks for their trademark around the world or something? This is just getting out of hand, like wow it's a school... and the apple symbol is practically different too with different contour + no bite. One day they will probably sue an actual apple...

      Apple needs to realize that sueing anything with an apple as a trademark isn't going to help their market / stock
    1. powa's Avatar
      powa -
      Apple is a big company now, and they are sueing all the small individual and corporations? Give me a break. Learn from Microsoft on how they do business. You don't sue everyone just because you are rich, that makes me feels like Apple is just a kid that rant about everything to the teacher and mom.

      Apple, you don't gain respect this way. After this I feel less support for Apple and i want them to go back to where they were. Because having a rich kid with power to sue all they want, is as dangerous as giving a nuclear remote control to an Ape.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      I wish this site would have had the money to fight Apple, perhaps it would have put them in their place and prevented a lot of the other stupid legal action like this.

      In addition, I would love to see someone take Apple to court over denying warranty service for "unauthorized third party software" being found on the phone. In just about everything that is out there, manufacturers are not allowed to deny warranty service just for the presence of non-oem parts/software for example a computer company can't deny a warranty claim just because you added a new OS or Blu-Ray drive after buying it. A car company cannot deny warranty service because you installed a non-oem battery or light bulb.

      And if we could get California to pass that Cell Phone User's Bill of Rights that they were attempting to do that would make it illegal to sell a locked cell phone in California we would be set.
    1. alucardunit1's Avatar
      alucardunit1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eurisko View Post
      I'm going with Apple on this one. Same outline, same leaf pointing the same way. It's a copy, no matter what fiddly bits they try to add to it.
      really so any one that uses a apple well theres no bite out of the apple the proportions are completely diff i dont know how you can say that apple is right in any way on this. seriously its like Toyota telling ford they stole there symbol of the oval and just bc they have the same shape no matter what is on the inside they still are going to sue them
    1. hateItunes's Avatar
      hateItunes -
      I understand it's the whole principle and all, taking what's not theirs and switching it up a bit to make it theirs but how as someone else said, how many ways are there to draw an apple? They took the notch out, that's good enough for me.

      The whole "give your teacher an apple" goes hand-in-hand with education/school so it only makes sense for them to use an apple too.

      Sure, they could've used a book, or a chaulkboard, or..... haha, whatever.

      Is this why we all jailbreak our phones to "stand up to the man?"
    1. Eurisko's Avatar
      Eurisko -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rescuer View Post
      it's a COMPLETLY different leaf..
      So if I made the wrench in the ModMyI logo hex shaped instead of rounded, does that make the logo completely different?
    1. unlockme's Avatar
      unlockme -
      what a f'd up world we live in. its an apple for petes sake!!!!!!!!! apple you fail in my eyes.
    1. mikenificent's Avatar
      mikenificent -
      Quote Originally Posted by mknapper1 View Post
      Seriously look at the 2 logos and tell me you don't think they copied apple, or at least were influenced by the apple logo

      No, I think this is just totally stupid. If apple invented the "apple" then that would make sense, but an apple is a fruit that's been around a long time before computers.

      That's like saying if I make a web site about weather and use a cloud in my logo I'm copying mobileme.

      It's only so many ways you can draw an apple and you can't forgot that while apple is a company the actual fruit does exist. If the schools logo was influenced by the company apple then where did apple get it's design influence from?
    1. Eurisko's Avatar
      Eurisko -
      Quote Originally Posted by alucardunit1 View Post
      really so any one that uses a apple well theres no bite out of the apple the proportions are completely diff i dont know how you can say that apple is right in any way on this. seriously its like Toyota telling ford they stole there symbol of the oval and just bc they have the same shape no matter what is on the inside they still are going to sue them
      You guys seem to be missing the point of a trademark. If that school logo even gives a hint, where you say to yourself, hey that looks like the Apple logo, then they are infringing on trademark copyright. Is there anyone here who can honestly say the logo has no similarities to Apple's?

      Quote Originally Posted by mikenificent View Post
      No, I think this is just totally stupid. If apple invented the "apple" then that would make sense, but an apple is a fruit that's been around a long time before computers.
      This is getting laughable. This has nothing to do with an Apple. It has everything to do with, does their logo look similar to Apple's logo.
    1. mikenificent's Avatar
      mikenificent -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eurisko View Post
      This is getting laughable. This has nothing to do with an Apple. It has everything to do with, does their logo look similar to Apple's logo.
      And again the Apple logo is a logo of what?

      Both logos look like apples as intended. Unless you're not drawing an apple I don't see how you can have two apples that are not similar.
    1. Eurisko's Avatar
      Eurisko -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikenificent View Post
      And again the Apple logo is a logo of what?

      Both logos look like apples as intended. Unless you're not drawing an apple I don't see how you can have two apples that are not similar.


      Here's a 20 second search of logo's. Do any of them look like Apple's logo?
    1. cawaker's Avatar
      cawaker -
      you guys gotta remember, it does look like Apple is being a bully but under law you have to make a strong effort to protect your trademarks or they fall into public domain, like how people call any tissue a kleenex, or when they search the internet the google something.

      Coporations have to maintain their effort to protect their marks so they dont get diluted and get released intot he public domain
    1. NCMacMan's Avatar
      NCMacMan -
      On closer inspection of the photo on the school's website shows the front building with their logo splashed all over the windows with Adobe and Microsoft. What gets my attention is this:

      "Not affiliated with Apple"

      If you are advertising this next to your logo on your building, you are infringing on the copyright. You have already admitted that there is a close resemblance.

      Apple has a strong case here...
    1. mikenificent's Avatar
      mikenificent -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eurisko View Post
      Here's a 20 second search of logo's. Do any of them look like Apple's logo?
      They are not identical the same as the schools apple is not identical. What I said is you can not draw two apples that are not similar which you can't. I didn't say you can't draw two apples that are not identical.

      From the shape of the bottom of the schools apple to the shape of the top of the schools apple, both are different then apples logo.

      Personally that's why when making designs I start from scratch.
    1. Eurisko's Avatar
      Eurisko -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikenificent View Post
      They are not identical the same as the schools apple is not identical. What I said is you can not draw two apples that are not similar which you can't. I didn't say you can't draw two apples that are not identical.

      From the shape of the bottom of the schools apple to the shape of the top of the schools apple, both are different then apples logo.

      Personally that's why when making designs I start from scratch.
      You'd never be hired as a copyright lawyer. Nuff said
    1. lillewis51's Avatar
      lillewis51 -
      hey is that the new apple logo? is apple really serious? and i bet that school has had that logo longer than apple. technically the school should be suing them for copying their design because apple switched from the retro colored apple to this silver one.
    1. mikenificent's Avatar
      mikenificent -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eurisko View Post
      You'd never be hired as a copyright lawyer. Nuff said
      When all else fails be childish. Not going to go back n forth. I will check for updates to see how this turns out though.