Following a fierce and lengthy challenge to its brand, leading mobile web technology specialist, Wapple has overcome significant opposition from global giants Apple Inc. culminating with the UK Intellectual Property Office ruling in favour of Wapple keeping its trademark.” So we read on the website of Wapple.
Of course small businesses try to be a David against a Goliath trying to get some sympathy for their position but a trademark infringement is a trademark infringement, no matter how big the business is. In fact, in this matter there was no trademark infringement as the UK Intellectual Property office decided in two of the three oppositions that Wapple did not infringe the rights of Apple.
The trademark office was of the opinion that only a moderate aural similarity existed when assessing the marks. Visually there was some similarity but conceptually there was a big difference. The wordmark Wapple took enough distance from the wordmark Apple. In respect of one of the logo’s of Wapple, the conclusion was opposite as the element apple was somewhat highlighted in the logo.
Well, the decision is well argumented but MarkMatters.com could also live with a different outcome
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”