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Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

A café in Bonn, Germany, called Apfelkind, is fighting an attempt by Apple to take a bite out of its business.

The trouble has arisen from the café’s apple logo, which Apple has deemed too close to its own eponymous logo.  The café’s owner, Christin Römer, has received a letter from Apple’s lawyers arguing that there could be confusion between the logos from the red used, the leaf on the apple stem and the shape.  

Ms Römer, meanwhile, has vowed to continue fighting, refusing to withdraw her trademark application to the Munich Patent Office.  The matter is expected to be decided in the coming months by the German trade mark office. 

We always advise our clients to do thorough searches to check that their name and logo are not already in use or are not “confusingly similar in the eyes of the consumer”.  The legal test is whether consumers are likely to be confused between any two names or logos.  Or as one judge memorably put it: ‘A moron in a hurry..’’.   If a moron in a hurry would be confused between two names or logos then there is a problem. 

Always take advice from a trade mark attorney as they are best placed to advise on this and don’t think because you are a small start-up that the big companies won’t come after you, because they will.  

By Mark Kingsley-Williams, Director and Founder of Trade Mark Direct

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