Apple accuses web design school of using their logo

A Saanich web design school is holding its ground, following a threat by Apple to take legal action if the local firm does not change a corporate logo it has used since 2005.

Calling his company a dedicated customer that uses Apple hardware and software almost exclusively in its operation, Victoria School of Business and Technology vice-president Christopher Boag said he and partner Dieter Gerhard were surprised to receive a strongly worded letter with no advance warning.

"It was a total shock," he said. "It was like the small guy was kind of getting blown away and Apple was pushing hard in order to get us to (submit to their demands)."

Boag and Gerhard argue that the apple is a "traditional representation of education" and that the logo in question, which incorporates the mountain logo of a sister company and has the words VSBT in one corner, in no way can be confused with the Apple logo.

View: School Victoria

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60 Comments

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These nazis over at Apple better stop taking on small SCHOOLS. So any apple or the word "apple" is freaking copyrighted because they use it. Maybe Newton needs to sue their ass because an apple fell on his head and he was there before.

Apple picking on a small design school.. how sad. I hope they go under. There's nothing practical about apple. The only good product they ever produced was the iPod.

That is friggin hilarious.. why would apple want to sue them... like.. at all?! Its not like the shape of the apple is even remotely the same, nor the rest of the pic. Pff.

Maybe if the apple in the school's logo had a bite out of it. I don't think Apple should have the right to sue anyone who uses anything that resembles an apple in their logo. Maybe the school should just claim that it is a pomegranate or some other kind of fruit that could be mistaken as an apple.

VSBT is a Microsoft Certified Partner and i think Apple is just ****ed off they are not a certified partner like Microsoft is. there's nothing on that page that even resembles anything to do with Apple, other than the poll about this lawsuit. ****ing corporate hate mongers need to die....seriously

Not all trademark suits are about brand confusion. I suspect that Apple just doesn't want this little tech school giving the impression that they're related to or endorsed by Apple.

They have too many corporate attorneys without enough to do. If anything, this little school is continuing the grand education-rooted tradition of teaching people they're to stupid to use a PC. The students will leave the school wanting to use Macs.

Can you stop people using such a common image? I mean an Apple is not exactly the creation of any one person, its a freakin' fruit. If i use a banana as a logo for my company, does that mean no one else in the world can use the fruit in theirs? Is the world that stupid?

companies who do this type of corporate bullying, should be tied up by their nutsacks and field dressed.

another reason for me to hate Apple. Monster Cables and Apple should get married, so i can kill them both on their honeymoon.

Oh come on, people will easily be confused by that logo and think it's an electronics company. How many times have people come to them and asked for the newest iPod?

This is just another typical day in Apple's law department. What is disappointing is that the school seems to be proud of using mostly Apple products but still get a nasty little threat. If you think Apple will love you for using their product you are delusional.

(C_Guy said @ #27)
What is disappointing is that the school seems to be proud of using mostly Apple products but still get a nasty little threat. If you think Apple will love you for using their product you are delusional.

Apple users are hardcore masochists. The more you hurt them (screw them/robe them) the more they love you.

Ha ha ha, that's in "fairness"? If you want to be fair, start by saying things that are actually true, not made up stuff

(C_Guy said @ #26.1)
Ha ha ha, that's in "fairness"? If you want to be fair, start by saying things that are actually true, not made up stuff ;)

Microsoft has sued companies for the same silly logo/copyright crap that Apple is doing. They sued several times for domain names that could possible be mistaken for a MS site. Companies do this all the time.

And I said "fairness" because everyone seems to beat up on Apple or Microsoft depending on what the topic is about. I am pro MS, tho I dont go out of my way to bash Apple.

(techbeck said @ #26.2)

Microsoft has sued companies for the same silly logo/copyright crap that Apple is doing. They sued several times for domain names that could possible be mistaken for a MS site. Companies do this all the time.

And I said "fairness" because everyone seems to beat up on Apple or Microsoft depending on what the topic is about. I am pro MS, tho I dont go out of my way to bash Apple.

Name one case where Microsoft has sued another site over a logo, or any domain name suit as ridiculous as this. Stop trolling, this has nothing to do with anyone but Apple. Besides even if they did, does that excuse Apple? Someone else did it so it's ok?

(techbeck said @ #26.2)

Microsoft has sued companies for the same silly logo/copyright crap that Apple is doing. They sued several times for domain names that could possible be mistaken for a MS site. Companies do this all the time.

And I said "fairness" because everyone seems to beat up on Apple or Microsoft depending on what the topic is about. I am pro MS, tho I dont go out of my way to bash Apple.

You're referring to the MikeRoweSoft.com domain, and the Lindows name. Those were justified lawsuits, as:

1. They could cause confusion by either mimicking a company's name and or product name.
2. They competed directly against Microsoft.

You can't apply those two points to this Apple lawsuit. The logos are completely different, and the school doesn't sell computer goods.

Cripes, what's next Apple? Are you going to take on education groups across the globe to force them to drop the use of the apple? Sue a kid who delivers an apple to their teacher?

Just when I think an Apple product looks interesting, their arrogance gets the best of them and they lash out and remind me why I don't own a single product of theirs.

"It was a total shock," he said. "It was like the small guy was kind of getting blown away and Apple was pushing hard in order to get us to (submit to their demands)."

I'm surprised anyone can be surprised when Apple's litigation machine kicks in. They aren't a friendly company.

Wow how to lose business the easy way. Is apple stupid? Yay lets get bad press by suing a school and by losing that schools business in the process.

not really suprised to see apple doing this.. i think it was last year it tried to sue a small electronics company for having the letter "i". They always pick on small companies :mad: I also dont like the "Im a Mac" ad.. they are funny ofcourse.. but never really into -ve stuff. ahh apple be more mature

The resemblence of this schools logo to Apples is alot less than the resemblence between Apple and the Apple Records logo which they tried to defend themselves against some years ago after a similar complaint.

Give me a break, Why can't other companies have something involving an Apple. Besides that outer part the rest is different and theres no way people could mistake them.

So anything in the shape of an apple belongs to Apple? Lol.

"It went on to say such use infringes upon Apple's trademark registrations and legal rights, which it claimed allow Apple the "exclusive right to use its trademarks and any confusingly similar trademarks and trade names" to market its products and services."

Who are they kidding? Even if only a millimeter is different it is not the same logo and the court will never take in consideration "similar".

So, you're saying if someone make a 'Nike Tick' logo that was 1mm longer, that's not an infringement? Really?

(eAi said @ #13.1)
So, you're saying if someone make a 'Nike Tick' logo that was 1mm longer, that's not an infringement? Really?

The Nike swoosh is fairly unique, but an everyday item like an apple or a window cannot really be effectively protected, nor should it be. Much like Amazon trying to take ownership of the "shopping cart" concept or AOLs failed attempt at patenting it's "TV channel" interface in the late 90s. Some ideas have so much prior art in real life they are a bad choice to try and protect.

its the same, what a rip off lol they should change it straight away. stupied idiots, lets sue becuase is the same shape! glad it isn't a scare or a circle then we'd be in trouble

the apple does not look like apple's apple so the case should be thrown out,apple should be sued back and hope they lose.

(_kane81 said @ #7)
source?

In the bit at the top which says

"Posted by rm20010 via Victoria News"

click the Victoria News link.

(GFree678 said @ #7.1)

In the bit at the top which says

"Posted by rm20010 via Victoria News"

click the Victoria News link.

Haha. Owned.

..and in breaking news,God sues Apple for using one of his creations without his permission.


I mean really,The Beatles had an Apple logo/company long before any of this...get real Apple.

Give me a break Apple. I wouldn't even think of you by seeing that logo. Next they'll try to ban Apple Juice because it has the name Apple in it.

(necrosis said @ #4)
Is Apple pulling a Monster?

They are a monster and I hope the economic crises beats the hell out of them.

Yes the logo on their site is not like the bland Apple logo.
Maybe in a shadow or silhouette, but it is a school that use almost all Apple stuff.

Bah....Apple-shmapple

Well I wouldn't go that far... the logo is like Apple's in so far as they are both representations of an apple.

However the web school's logo doesn't have a bit taken out of it, and the shape is slightly different.

The image of an apple was being used long before Apple Computers came onto the scene, so I hope the judge throws this one out.