Tech behemoth Apple, which is worth in excess of $1trillion, is taking a company with five employees to court over it its use of a green pear as a logo.
Apple claims the recipe app’s logo closely resembles its own fruity emblem, and it is trying to prevent the small company from being granted its own trademark.
Prepear says it is terrifying to be embroiled in a legal battle with one of the world’s biggest, richest and most powerful companies.
However, Prepear says it feels a ‘moral obligation’ to stand up for itself despite the financial strain the legal battle is putting on the company.
Apple filed a notice of opposition against the meal prep company, MacRumours and iPhone in Canada first reported.
Apple’s logo is one of the most easily recognisable in the world and the company has repeatedly defended it from being copied.
The company claims the presence of the green pear logo could ’cause dilution of the distinctiveness’ of the Apple logo and diminish the company’s identifiability.
Prepear says the cost of the legal proceedings has so far amounted to ‘many thousands of dollars’. It has already had to lay off a member of staff just to survive the legal onslaught.
In contrast, Apple CEO Tim Cook is now officially a billionaire as his personal worth ballooned following Apple’s shares soaring last week.
He has been in the top job at Apple for almost a decade and Apple is currently around $1.9 trillion with its shares up nearly 54 per cent so far this year
The two logos have similarities, they are both fruit and have a leaf. But, there are clear differences as well.
For example, as the company names would suggest, one is an apple and one is a pear. They are also different colours and the angle of the leaf is different.
However, Apple deems this to be worthy of a lawsuit and describes Prepear’s logo as ‘a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf, which readily calls to mind Apple’s famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression’.
Court filings reveal Apple believes the similarities of the logos overshadow the differences.
It also says that due to the Apple logo being ‘so famous and instantly recognizable’ that this ‘[will] cause the ordinary consumer to believe the Applicant is related to, affiliated with or endorsed by Apple’.
Prepear co-founder Russell Monson started a petition called ‘Save the Pear from Apple!’ to raise support for the small app.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is a ‘demanding’ boss who ‘leads through interrogation’
Despite his friendly, gentle demeanour, Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook has been described as a tough leader who has been known to ‘leave his staff in tears’.
A new profile of the billionaire Apple boss describes a man who leads his staff ‘through interrogation’, according to contacts cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Cook succeeded Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011, six weeks before the latter’s death from cancer.
Since that time, Apple’s market value has soared from $348 billion to $1.9 trillion, but the ‘cautious and tactical’ leader has had to be ruthless behind the scenes.
Cook reached billionaire status earlier today, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
For Apple, it is a company that it claims offers ‘identical and/or highly related goods and services’ and therefore is a threat.
Apple is a company with its fingers in many pies – health care, social networking, mobile phone manufacturer – and it says a meal planning app would be ‘within Apple’s natural zone of expansion for Apple’s Apple Marks’.
In other words, the fact that Apple may one day branch out into recipes and meal planning is enough justification to challenge Prepear’s use of the logo.
Prepear co-owner Natalie Monson said on Instagram that she does not want people to stop using Apple products.
Instead, their public pleas are the result of a sense of duty.
‘I feel a moral obligation to take a stand against Apple’s aggressive legal action against small businesses and fight for the right to keep our logo,’ she said.
‘We are defending ourselves against Apple not only to keep our logo, but to send a message to big tech companies that bullying small businesses has consequences.’
MailOnline has approached Apple for comment.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to testify before the US Congress last month alongside the chief executives of Amazon, Facebook and Google, as part of an antitrust investigation into major tech companies.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia also ruled today that Apple had breached antitrust legislation, following a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab.
Earlier this year, Apple was fined €25million (£21.2million/$27.4 million) for not telling customers it was deliberately slowing down older iPhones.
The iPhone manufacture hit headlines in 2017 for not disclosing the impact the move would have to consumers and France’s watchdog has slapped the firm with a fine.
International scandal erupted erupted in December 2017 when Apple admitted its iOS update was slowing the older phones and causing diminishing battery life.
In the 2019 financial year, Apple made a total of $260.17billion (€237.42billion). The €25million fine equates to around 0.01053 per cent of this amount.