Thursday, November 03, 2011

Trademarks Do Not Exist For The Company

I am growing increasingly disapproving of Apple. I've never liked their product model: exercising direct control over every stage of interaction; but it was just that, a personal preference. Lately, though, they have turned into the bully-like Goliath that they supposedly stood against in its early days.

The number of lawsuits filed by Apple continues to skyrocket, and they are also filing lawsuits that are flat-out stupid. For example, they recently filed a suit against a small German cafe called Apfelkind (translates to Apple Kid or Apple Child) for infringement. I have presented both logos below for your consideration.

NO ONE would mistake the two logos. Trademark law exist explicitly to help the consumer, not the company. It does not give a company absolute control over some image. Apple does not control all images of apples everywhere! And, importantly for my opinions of the company, trying to do so cements their position as a belligerent piece of crap.

In case someone from Apple is reading this, let me educate their dumb self. Trademark law is intended to protect people from buying something from a company other than they think they are. It is entirely consumer-oriented as a protection to stop them from being scammed. It is not AT ALL a protection for companies.

For example, Apple has a trademark on their permutation of the apple image because if I see that image, I believe that I am buying an Apple product, which I want. It is my perception that is important and needs to be protected. Because in this equation, I am the one who is harmed the most. Apple, at most, is out a single sale. But I am deprived of significant funds which are much more important to me than to Apple. I am absolutely harmed while Apple is only theoretically harmed.

That's why trademark law has the "idiot in a hurry" litmus test. If, upon inspection, an idiot in a hurry would not mistake the two trademarks, there is no danger to the public, and as such, the suing trademark holder can go screw.

And that is exactly what I am saying to Apple. Go screw. Any company that would bully a small German cafe that caters to parents is a company with which I want no part.

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