Apple opposes ‘Apple-Man’ Trademark for Ukrainian Independent Films – The Hollywood Reporter
Apple may be battling various legal battles on multiple fronts right now, including a high-profile dispute with Epic Games, but isn’t too busy waging a trademark battle over an action comedy. Upcoming low-budget movement named Apple-Man.
In December, Apple filed an objection with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to block a trademark application by Ukrainian director Vasyl Moskalenko for his independent project. The world’s most valuable company argues that viewers will misunderstand Apple-Man related to Apple and the movie would dilute its brand.
“The Apple Marks are so well known and instantly recognizable that the similarities in the Applicant’s Mark would overshadow any slight differences and lead the average consumer to believe that the Applicant related to, affiliated with, or endorsed by Apple,” the profile is embedded below. “Consumers may mistakenly believe that the Applicant’s Mark is an extension of the well-known Apple brand.”
Apple-Man is a satirical story about a superhero who can fly apples. It was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and raised around $120,000.
The film was in post-production when Apple filed an objection to Moskalenko’s trademark. Claiming to be in violation of the Lanham Act, Apple believes the trademark is intended to mislead consumers.
Joseph Petersen, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP representing Apple, writes: “Consumers who encounter the Applicant’s Mark are likely to associate that mark with Apple because it is so similar to the APPLE Mark and generally give a similar commercial impression. “Indeed, the Applicant’s Seal incorporates the entirety of Apple’s well-known APPLE trademark, merely adding the generic term ‘man’.”
Apple also argued that the trademark, if granted, would “dilute the distinction of well-known Apple Marks by eroding consumers’ exclusive identification of the Apple Marks with Apple.”
JPG Legal’s Jeremy Eche, who represents Moskalenko, argues “apple” is not an exclusive word and viewers won’t be fooled by the film.
“This is ridiculous,” he said The Hollywood Reporter. “They really want to own the word ‘Apple’ in every industry.”
Eche thinks Apple is a “brand bully” exploiting the system.
“Because a company like Apple has hundreds of millions of dollars that they can spend, they start these cases against small business customers like mine no matter how bad their case,” says Eche. how bad,” Eche said. “Just because they can spend $300,000 to see it through and my customers can’t justify that cost, Apple knows they’re probably going to win here.”
Prepear, a recipe and meal planning app, agreed to change the pear logo last year to settle a trademark dispute with Apple. Apple objected to Prepear’s attempt to obtain the pear effect, arguing that it was too similar to the genuine apple logo.
Jesse Saivar, an intellectual property attorney at Greenberg Glusker who was not involved in the case, said: CHEAP “No one can have a monopoly over a descriptive word.”
“If I’m trying to title something that mentions apples, how can I do that if I can’t use the word Apple in the title?” he posed. But Saivar continued, “It got complicated because [Moskalenko] wanted to get into the content, and Apple got into the world of content as well. ”
Moskalenko in January indicated in a filing with the USPTO that he wanted to settle the matter because he did not have the resources to litigate the case. He is still considering his options after settlement talks stalled, according to Eche.
Apple has yet to respond to a request for comment.