Apple in dispute with political party over ‘confusing’ logo

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Apple logo dispute
Dueling apple logos are part of a trademark dispute in Norway.
Illustration: VG

A political party in Norway has an apple logo. It is bright red, topped with a brown stem and green leaf and frames a large letter F for Fremskrittspariet or Progress Party.

It has been the party logo for 30 years. However, recent tweaks to the design caught the eye of Apple Inc., prompting the tech giant to file a formal complaint with the Norwegian Patent Office.

“The objection is based on the fact that the registered mark is likely to be confused with our client’s previously registered rights,” Apple attorney Trine Greaker Herzog wrote in a letter dated Feb. 28 to the patent office.

The Apple logo dispute arose late last year when party officials registered their logo for new uses. The political party’s application for trademark said it would use its apple logo for digital media, stationary, campaign schwag and other promotional purposes.

Fredrik Färber, the party’s secretary general, told Norway’s VG the public shouldn’t be confused by the logos. Apple sells computers and mobile devices while Fremskrittspariet drafts policies for government.

Apple and the party are in negotiations and Färber said, “We are prepared to solve this and believe we will get it.”

The patent office set a May 19 deadline for the parties to reach an agreement or it will re-evaluation awarding trademark status to Fremskrittspariet.

The Apple logo was designed by Rob Janoff and trademarked in 1977. The first logo featured rainbow colors but its shape has changed very little over time.

Norway’s Progress Party was founded in 1973 but did not adopt an apple logo until the early 1990s, according to Färber.

Source: VG