Apple Sues Chinese Food Company Over Logo

Sep 13, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Apple alleges a Chinese food company's apple logo constitutes trademark infringement.

Computer giant Apple has sued Fangguo, a food company based in Sichuan, China, for trademark infringement, alleging the Fangguo logo is too similar to Apple's.

The Fangguo logo is an apple with a stem and a leaf, though it doesn't have a bite taken out of it like Apple computer's iconic logo. Apple's logo also lacks a stem and doesn't have any writing, whereas Fangguo's features Chinese characters inscribed within the apple. Some media reports have suggested these characters make Fangguo's logo more closely resemble tech company LG's logo than Apple's.

However, Apple's complaint involves more than the visual resemblance between the logos. In China, Fangguo is known as Pingguo, which is the word for apple, and though Fangguo only produces food products like flour and noodles, its logo is registered under 16 product categories, including notebook computers and electronic game software, Go Cheng Doo reports.

Zhao Yi, Fangguo's CEO, told the source he had not heard of Apple at the time he started his company.

Apple is already engaged in other litigation with Chinese entities. After online photographs recently surfaced of Chinese retail outlets that have scrupulously recreated the look of Apple stores, the tech company filed suit against the copycat stores.