Since 2017, Apple has been making efforts to secure a trademark for images of apples, specifically the fruit rather than its computers.
Apple has pursued trademark applications in various countries, including Switzerland, as reported by Wired UK. In its application to the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), Apple sought intellectual property rights for a black-and-white representation of a Granny Smith apple.
In 2022, the IPI granted partial approval to Apple’s request, recognizing that generic depictions of common objects fall within the public domain.
Apple has recently initiated an appeal in the ongoing case. Due to the ongoing nature of the appeal and the need for Apple’s consent, the details of the request have not been disclosed by the IPI. However, it is known that the request pertains to the usage of audiovisual footage.
The implications of Apple’s potential victory in this legal battle would extend far beyond the tech industry. The Fruit Union Suisse (FUS), an organization with a history spanning 111 years, currently features a logo showcasing a red apple overlaid with a white Swiss cross.
However, the FUS may face the possibility of modifying its logo if Apple successfully secures intellectual property rights to all representations of apples in general, not just the iconic bitten apple associated with Apple’s logo.
Jimmy Mariethoz, director of FUS, said:
We have a hard time understanding this, because it’s not like they’re trying to protect their bitten apple. Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal … that should be free for everyone to use.