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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Apple files intellectual property complaint against...Polish grocery store?

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Did its big, recent victory against Samsung go to Apple's head?

Only a few weeks after it won an intellectual property dispute with Samsung (and was $1 awarded billion in damages), the company that makes all of Miami's favorite high-tech devices has announced that it is going after a far unlikelier candidate: a Polish online grocery store called "A.pl."

The move has caused a few people to scratch their heads, since it is not immediately apparent what Apple was concerned about. ("Pl" is the Polish version of ".com," so the American equivalent of A.pl would be "A.com")

Poland's equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that Apple had filed a complaint, accusing the A.pl. of copying its logo and using a deceptively similar name to seduce customers.

Adam Taukert, a spokesman for the Polish patent office, said, "Apple brand is widely recognized and the company says that A.pl, by using the name that sounds similar, is using Apple's reputation."

In response, an executive for A.pl called the complaint "ludicrous."

Now, it is true that companies have to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to protecting their intellectual property assets. On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much aggression.

Based only on what you know about what we have written here, does Apple's lawsuit make any sense to you? Or does it sound, shall we say, questionable?

Source: Reuters, "Apple turns legal funs on Polish retailer A.pl," Sept. 11, 2012


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