Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apple sues Polish grocer A.pl for trademark infringement

Apple has previously sued for trademark infringement over such ludicrous things as the GreeNYC campaign's logo or items that use the word "Pod" in their name but that are totally unrelated to MP3 players.

The bulls-eye, this time, is focused on a Polish grocery store. The store is using a .pl top-level domain name, which makes a lot of sense considering its country of origin. The problem lies in the rest of their website's domain name.

The site is A.pl. A brief look at how that might be pronounced would probably clue you in on at least one thing that Apple is - or might be - upset about.

On Tuesday, the Polish patent office said that Apple had filed a complaint against A.pl, accusing the website of riding on its trademark in three ways. The Polish patent website said 1) its name is similar, 2) it is trading on Apple's reputation, and 3) it has a logo that is similar to Apple's.

The logo, in fact, appears to be at a subsidiary of A.pl's, at fresh24.pl (seen above), rather than directly at A.pl.

As has been pointed out before by patent and trademark attorneys, to maintain the validity of its trademark, Apple needs to aggressively pursue those that it considers scofflaws, even if a connection to its trademark seems to be on the more ridiculous side.

Polish patent office spokesman Adam Taukert said, "(The) Apple brand is widely recognized and the company says that A.pl, by using the (sic) name that sounds similar, is using Apple's reputation."

Meanwhile, A.pl CEO Radoslaw Celinski rebutted the complaint, saying that "The accusation is ludicrous."

A date for a hearing has not yet been set.

No comments: