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Apple is trying to trademark depictions of actual apples


Apple is trying to trademark images of apples – the fruit, not the computers.Apple has been trying to trademark the apple in Switzerland since 2017 and has launched similar applications in several other countries, per Wired UK(opens in a new tab). It submitted an application to the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) for the IP rights to a black-and-white depiction of a Granny Smith apple. In 2022, the IPI partially awarded Apple’s request, citing that generic imagery of common items are considered to be in the public domain.

Apple has now launched an appeal. Because the case is ongoing and requires consent from Apple, the IPI couldn’t disclose details of its request, but it involves uses for audiovisual footage. The ripple effects of Apple winning its legal battle would extend far beyond the tech world. The Fruit Union Suisse, a 111-year-old organisation, has a logo featuring a red apple with a white Swiss cross superimposed on it. But now the association could find itself in the position of having to change its logo because the FUS says Apple wants IP rights to all depictions of apples in general — not just the apple with the bite in it like Apple’s iconic logo.

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“We have a hard time understanding this, because it’s not like they’re trying to protect their bitten apple,” Jimmy Mariethoz, director of FUS, said to Wired. “Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal … that should be free for everyone to use.”


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