Apple, the company, wants to trademark images of apple, the fruit

Apple store in downtown at TKL
(Image credit: ZorroGabriel via shutterstock)

Apple is trying to flex its legal muscles and worldwide influence to gain intellectual property rights over depictions of apples - that’s right, the fruit.

In Switzerland, the Fruit Union Suisse uses a symbol of a red apple with a white cross - the Swiss national flag superimposed onto an apple, in other words. The group has over a hundred years of history and is now worried it may have to change its logo due to Apple’s insistence on trademarking fruit.

Wired points out that this is actually not an isolated incident - but rather that Apple has made similar demands to IP authorities around the world with varying degrees of success. Authorities in Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Armenia have previously caved to the tech giant’s frankly unreasonable requests.

An apple a day ...

According to Jimmy Mariéthoz, Director of the Fruit Union Suisse, the union has not been pleased with the tech giant’s request, “because it’s not like they’re trying to protect their bitten apple. Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal … that should be free for everyone to use.”

It’s true that FUS’s logo indeed lacks the iconic ‘bite’ taken out of it, as seen in Apple’s own logo. Apple’s quest to own the IP rights to something as universally generic as an actual piece of fruit speaks volumes to the company's sense of self-importance, and the assumption that because it’s the Apple, one of the biggest tech firms in the world, it can simply bully government organizations into doing as it pleases.

These current efforts to secure a trademark in Switzerland go as far back as 2017, when Apple submitted an application to the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property requesting IP rights for a realistic, black-and-white depiction of a Granny Smith apple - a very generic apple, in other words. The request covered a multitude of uses like electronic, digital, and consumer goods. The request was denied but Apple has launched an appeal this year.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).