A small café in Germany has been told that its red apple logo with the face of a child in it is forbidden fruit.
The warning has been fired by U.S. computer giant Apple at a small café in Bonn called Apfelkind.
The café’s owner, Christin Römer, has made a trademark application for her logo, which Apple has demanded she withdraws – but the electronics goliath has a battle on its hands, because Ms Romer is standing firm.
She opened her café in May and received a letter last month from the California-based firm telling her that it believed her customers would become confused between its world-famous logo and hers.
Ms Romer was not about to be put off, though. She told German paper The Local: ‘I’m not going to accept that. At first I couldn’t believe the letter – then I called my lawyer.
'I wanted to do something like Starbucks, and have the logo as my trademark. I was even thinking of eventually expanding and creating a franchise business so other people could open up other Apfelkind cafés, which is why I wanted to register the trademark.’
Mr Romer uses the logo on cushions, cups, chairs and a delivery bike.
She added: ‘The thing is, it was almost flattering to hear from Apple. I love Apple products – I love design and am not terribly technical. I organise my cafe with my iPhone and Apple laptop.’
The case will be decided by Munich’s patent office, but in the meantime, Ms Romer explained that the entanglement with Apple has been good for business, with lots of customers coming in to show their support.
Apple has not offered a comment on the matter.
It’s certainly no stranger to trademark disputes.
Last year New York City had to alter its ‘GreeNYC’ apple logo after the computer firm argued that it would cause confusion.
And in 2006 Apple Computer won a legal battle with The Beatles' record label Apple Corps over the use of an apple logo to advertise its iPod music players.
Apple Corps - owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of George Harrison and John Lennon - claimed the computer giant had breached an agreement to keep out of the music business.
The two companies had agreed a strict 'field of use' of the Apple logo in a dispute which has run since the early Eighties. In 1991 a trademark agreement gave Corps exclusive use of the logo for the record business.
Then in 2001 the clash exploded into legal action with the launch of Apple Computer's on line iTunes Music Store.
In court Apple Corps demanded that Apple Computer stop using the trademark and pay it a percentage of profits.
But the judge said that while Corps retained the right to use the apple logo for 'creative works', Apple Computer still had the right to apply its mark for service which sells content.
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