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Apple Attacks NYC Over GreeNYC Logo, Steve Jobzilla to Destroy Central Park Next

Illustration for article titled Apple Attacks NYC Over GreeNYC Logo, Steve Jobzilla to Destroy Central Park Next

Apple has filed a formal opposition to NYC's GreeNYC campaign over its new logo, saying that the city's looped apple infringes its own trademark. While Steve's mob says the eco-logo will "seriously injure the reputation with which [Apple] has established for its goods and services." New York's response? "The city believes that Apple's claims have no merit and that no consumer is likely to be confused."

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The NYC logo which, ironically enough, seems to be an apple drawn from an infinite loop, (ha!) has been appearing on bus shelters, hybrid taxis and shopping bags from Whole Foods. The Cupertino gang's claim for trademark infringement is, however, hard to prove with a logo, as its key issue is likelihood of confusion or dilution, according to an SF lawyer specializing in trademarks.

This dispute is the third time Apple has been involved in trademark infringement claims—remember its battle with the Beatles' Apple Corps, and Cisco Systems about who had the right to use the iPhone name?

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The GreeNYC campaign applied for a trademark on its logo back in May 2007, whilst Apple's opposition, and NYC's counterclaim was filed four months later, on September 18. Next step, apparently, is to commission some independent surveys, known as mall-stop surveys, to see if Apple has a leg to stand on. The final decision will be made by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the patent office. [Wired]

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DISCUSSION

@Stoodo:

"Apple runs no risk of losing their logo for failing to oppose this trademark filing"

Apple won't lose its logo, but what will stop another company/organization from using a logo that is ever so slightly more similar to Apple's logo the next time around? And the next time still, when somebody wants to use a logo that is even more similar? And the next time? And the next time?

And when finally a company that overlaps enough with Apple's business tries to use a logo very similar to Apple's, and Apple sues them, and even you and all the other Apple haters on Gizmodo would agree that Apple has a strong and legitimate case; but the judge is going to point to the string of all these "Apple-like" logos that have been used by various organizations in the past and say "Why didn't you try to defend your logo then?"

It's not about "losing" the Apple logo; it's about risking giving other companies and organizations the right to freely use very similar logos without being able to complain about it, and hence diluting the Apple brand.