Via various news sources, Apple has threatened legal action against the Victoria School of Business and Technology. their issue is with the school’s logo, which is, among other things, a glossy apple with a leaf tilted 45 degrees to the right. But is it reasonable to consider it too similar?
The school apple has three bumps on top while Apple’s design has two, and is multi-coloured while Apple’s is not, Boag said yesterday.
An apple symbolizes education, he said, adding that the school uses about 50 Apple computers as well as PCs.
“We believe we are ethically and morally in the right,” Boag said. “We’re basically standing our ground right now, as we do feel like the little guy who is being bullied to some degree by Apple.”
The school has posted a poll (along with links to the Apple legal letter), and the response of “No, I don’t agree with Apple” is winning at 74% and 5000+ votes.
Rampant protection of their identity isn’t wholly unfounded. The Apple logo shape has only changed colour since it’s introduction in 1976. Each Mac and iPod comes with logo stickers, and a disturbing handful of Apple fans have committed it to skin with tattoos. Apple treats their logo like Prince used to treat his unpronounceable symbol, with Apple Retail stores having only the logo as signage, and with their commercials ending with only the logo—they aren’t even putting their URL there anymore. That’s incredible brand recognition when they can make an ad with just a bunch of new iPods floating around, backed by hipster music, without the name of the product, company, or a URL. None of that is necessary, the message is clear to all: “This is what you’re giving or getting for Christmas this year. Pick a colour and get your credit card; you know where to go.”
Nonetheless, it’s a bit of a stretch to think that the two symbols could be confused; I doubt the VSBT has had anyone wander in looking for iPods. Thus far the only action has been a letter. How far Apple actually goes in bullying this small business school remains to be seen. But whatever this ends up costing the VSBT in legal fees, the publicity was free.
Apple’s first logo, pre-1976