Although Apple thinks it can compare apples and oranges, the tech giant was proven wrong by the European Court of Justice.
The case is about the marks of Apple and Pear Technologies. The latter wanted to register its logo in 2014 at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Apple protested against the mark, moreover because Pear Technologies is offering products and services that are very similar to Apple's. EUIPO agreed with Apple, but Pear appealed against the decision.
A stem is not a leaf
In Appeal EUIPO decided again that Apple's complaint about the mark is correct, also because of the stem at the top of the logo. "Apples and pears are indeed different kinds of fruit, but they are very closely related", the 2017 judgement reads.
Because both logos are similar, consumers might confuse Pear with Apple, stated the appeal council of EUIPO. This could even lead to consumers considering Pear as the equal of Apple, because the use of a fruit in the logo is rather unusual in the tech sector.
The difference is clear
However, in a recent verdict, the European judge has discarded this argument, also because Pear mentions its name in the logo so that consumers can easily distinguish between apples and pears by just reading the name!
This means that Pear is allowed to keep its mark and that Apple and EUIPO will have to split the legal costs of Pear.