Street artist claims that Apple ad stole his slogan

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A New York street artist claims Apple stole his trademark slogan for its latest ad campaign. The line “You’re more powerful than you think” is used in conjunction with shots of people using their iPhone in various different lines of work.

46-year-old James De La Vega says that he’s been using the trademarked line for almost a decade as part of his “Become Your Dream” series. The line has been used in various murals and designs, and was even (by permission) incorporated into a graffiti motif used for a recent line of handbags and accessories.

“These guys (Apple) were well aware of that when they decided to use it as a way to motivate their base to buy their phones,” De La Vega notes.

So far, he’s filed a cease-and-desist letter, claiming that Apple is trying to trick customers into believing that he officially endorses its products. A letter sent by De La Vega’s lawyer says that he’s looking for a settlement.

“This is my way of building a movement,” De La Vega says. “[Apple] should pay me because I created it and they’ve used it to creation national excitement about a product and huge profits for themselves.”

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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