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Apple wants to own the rights to images of real apples

Apple logo or not: Your favorite iPhone maker puts fruit companies on edge.

Steve Jobs holds a red apple logo

Companies, generally, have a right to protect their logos and intellectual property. There is nothing wrong with a company, such as Apple, going after someone for breaching their IP and using a shape of an apple with a bite out of it like their Apple logo.

It’s another story when Apple wants to own the rights to images of real apples.

According to Wired UK, this has the Switzerland-based Fruit Union Suisse up in arms. Fruit Union Suisse is a 111-year-old fruit company that uses an apple as its logo with the Swiss flag on it.

While Apple hasn’t yet directly gone after the firm, they fear it’s only a matter of time.

The Apple logo is very distinct, but they pretend it isn’t

A close-up of an apple on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie via Apple

Back in 2017, Apple filed copyright over the black-and-white image of a granny smith apple in Switzerland, sans Apple’s iconic bite. Literally, just an apple.

While the idea was that it was for specific products in the region, the idea is that putting the logo in black-and-white enables much more nefarious possibilities.

Fruit Union Suisse believes that by having the rights to a generic apple, they can then go after companies using any apple, even if it doesn’t have the iconic Apple logo’s bite.

“We have a hard time understanding this,” Fruit Union Suisse director Jimmy Mariéthoz explained, “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.”

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. They’ve gone after other companies for less, like a pear logo that wasn’t anywhere close to the Apple logo. So, only time will tell if they ever decide to go after the Swiss fruit company.

Wired UK goes way more into the legal battle that Apple has faced in Switzerland and the companies it’s gone after to protect its IP.

If you’re an Apple fan, you probably already know about the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset coming eventually. Or maybe you’ve Googled something at some point in which Google might owe you a little bit of money.

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After over a decade and a half of writing and journalism in games and multimedia, Arthur loves to talk tech, geek, and gaming, anytime, anywhere. He's the entire package: a gamer, a collector, and he knows how to build a computer. When he isn't writing, he also owns a local game shop, dealing in all various geeky antiquities.

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