|By Salvatore Genovese||
|May 27, 2008 09:15 PM EDT||
Hilary Potkewitz, reporting for Crain's New York Business, puts it very well. I quote:
"New York City, universally known as The Big Apple, is facing a lawsuit from Steve Jobs’ Apple Computer Inc. for, of all things, copyright infringement.
The suit stems from New York’s environmental awareness campaign, GreeNYC, and its logo, which uses the outline of an apple, complete with a little leaf on top. Filed in September, the suit had gone unnoticed until this week. The California computer giant claims the drawing is too similar to its ubiquitous trademark.
The City’s Response? Bite My Apple!
New York City Corp. Counsel Michael Cardozo quickly filed a counterclaim to have Apple’s case thrown out, citing differences between both logos, and the fact that Apple Computer does not sell mugs, caps or other items, making confusion unlikely. He added that NYC & Company, the non-profit city marketing organization behind the logo, is dedicated to increasing tourism to New York and all of its sites - including the various Apple stores - ultimately benefiting the computer company.
As a concession, the city agreed to eliminate beer steins from its retail catalog because Apple Computer had previously filed for that particular use of its logo.
At the center of the controversy is the city program’s icon, a free-form sketch of Eve’s favorite fruit. In recent weeks that logo has started sprouting up on local bus shelters and on fashionable grocery sacs sold at Whole Foods Markets. The city plans to print it on T-shirts, caps, mugs and various other items throughout the Mayor Bloomberg-created campaign.
But according to the maker of Macs, that is not what the doctor ordered.
“[GreeNYC’s logo] so closely resembles Apple’s [logo] that its use is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception in the minds of consumers,” wrote Apple Computer’s lawyers in their September filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal board objecting to the logo."
|David 04/07/08 03:39:15 PM EDT|
As noted, this concerns trademarks, a significantly different area of IP than copyright. Also, the legal standard is "likely to cause confusion," hence why you are likely to see that in any filings by the complaining party. It's considered standard language.
The analysis turns on, among other things, a "probability of confusion." That would have been a more relevant question to the NYC public (e.g., Q:"are you confused by the apples? A: is this a joke?").
|The Editor 04/04/08 02:46:25 PM EDT|
It isn't a lawsuit, it's an objection to a filing; and it isn't a copyright, it's a tradename. A writer, of all people, should know the difference.
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