Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the Prepear app, because Apple thinks Prepear’s logo is too close to its own, iPhone in Canada reported. Apple is a gigantic company, with plenty of money spend on court battles. Prepear is a small company with five employees.
Prepear is a meal planning and grocery list app – which you can find on the App Store, ironically enough. (It is also available on Android). Prepear’s app includes personalized meal ideas and easy cooking instructions. Apple makes smartphones, laptops and desktop computers, and runs and maintains the App Store, among other things. I don’t see how a person would get these two companies confused.
Apple’s Notice of Opposition was filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The iPhone in Canada blog has embedded a copy of it into its blog post about this situation. The litigation provides some insight as to what Apple was thinking:
Consumers encountering Applicant’s Mark are likely to associate the mark with Apple. Applicants’s Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf, which readily calls to mind Apple’s famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression, as shown in the following side-by-side comparison:
In short, Apple is trying to defend its logo. According to Entrepreneur, registering a mark (or logo) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office establishes ownership. Xavier Morales, Esq., a licensed trademark attorney, wrote a blog post on his Secure Your Trademark blog in which he stated that uncontrolled licensing of a mark can can lead to the loss of trademark rights. To be clear, neither of these blog posts were specifically writing about the Apple – Prepear situation.
Personally, I feel bad for Prepear. In an Instagram post on the SuperHealthyKids account, written by Natalie, a registered dietitian who started Prepear almost five years ago, you can read her take on the Apple-Prepear litigation:
“This is a big blow to us at Prepear. To fight this it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. 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.While the rest of the world is going out of their way to help small businesses during this pandemic, Apple has chosen to go after our small business.”
For those who are interested, there is a petition on Change.org titled “Save the Pear from Apple!” At the time I am writing this, the petition has 16,321 signatures, and is aiming for 25,000. Petitions like this one give people a means by which to express their opinions. Personally, I doubt Apple, or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will be persuaded by a petition.