Apple have opposed the use of a pear logo by a meal prep company known as Prepear, as they argue that the logo looks to similar to Apple’s. Prepear is an app which allows users to create and organise recipes and meal plans, and they have a minimalist green image of a pear as their company logo. Prepear’s problems began when the parent company Super Healthy Kids filed to register a trademark for the Prepear logo.
Image credit: Prepear
According to Apple, the pear will cause “dilution of the distinctiveness” of Apple’s iconic logo, and customers will find it difficult to be able to identify Apple from Prepear, making it a violation of the Lanham act. The Lanham (trademark) act is a statute of law in the United States which prohibits trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising. Moreover, Apple argue that Prepear have “highly related goods and services”, as Apple already have several apps that relate to health and nutrition, which is Prepear’s sphere.
Prepear’s co-founder Russell Monson started a petition which has over 200,000 signatures at the time of writing. Monson explains that Prepear is a small business with only five employees, and obviously they cannot afford an arduous legal battle with Apple, which is a company of gargantuan size and power. Natalie Monson, the other co-founder of Prepear, explains that she feels a “moral obligation to take a stand against Apple’s aggressive legal action against small businesses”.
This is one among many cases of Apple pursuing legal action against small companies with fruit logos. Back in 2011, Apple told a café owner in Germany to withdraw a trademark application for her company as they argued that the logos were too similar. The café was called Apfelkind (which means Apple Child), and the logo was a child’s face within a red apple.
For a company that prides itself on assuming the moral high ground, it is totally unacceptable to see Apple causing small business owners a great deal of grief over what many would regard to be a trivial matter. Naturally the Lanham act is enforced for the justifiable reason of preventing trademark infringement and false advertising which can be deceptive to consumers, however many would argue simply by comparing the two logos that Prepear’s pear looks nothing like the Apple’s apple, and it is very unlikely that a potential customer would confuse the two. Apple is continuing their tirade against small companies for daring to pose even the most miniscule threat to Apple’s stronghold, which we find morally repugnant. We expected more from Apple.
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