The startup says its fighting back on behalf of all small companies similarly strong-armed by the tech giant.
- Apple is seeking to have a startup's logo patent dismissed over concerns it is too similar to its own.
- Prepear, a five-person food blog, says its pear logo is "obviously" not an apple.
- The company's fighting back in behalf of other small businesses it says have been similarly bullied.
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Fruits can be confusing, if you ask Apple.
The tech giant is fighting a trademark filed by Prepear, a five-person food website, over its pear-shaped logo.
In a "notice of opposition" filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple said the recipe and meal planning firm said Prepear's logo "consists of 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."
Russell Monson, Prepear's co-founder and COO, says this is just "bullying" over a logo the company first filed to patent in 2017.
"It is a very terrifying experience to be legally attacked by one of the largest companies in the world, even when we have clearly done nothing wrong, and we understand why most companies just give in and change their logos.," he said in a Change.org petition started in protest. "We 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."
That petition's now been signed by more than 71,000 people, a response that Monson told the BBC has left him "overwhelmed by how supportive people have been."
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Natalie Monson, Russell's wife and co-founder, says the goal isn't to get anyone to stop buying Apple products — that would be near impossible, after all. Instead, the couple want to show an example to other small businesses they say have been similarly bullied.
"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 wrote on Instagram. "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."
Dear Instagram Friends- I NEED YOUR HELP! I know there are a lot of heavy things going on in the world right now, and this is nothing in comparison, but I need your help in a situation that is affecting me, my family, and my coworkers. Please help! Many of you know that I started a business called Prepear almost 5 years ago. It is an app that you can store all your recipes in one place, plan your meals, make grocery lists, and get your groceries delivered all in one place. Recently @apple yes, The trillion dollar Apple, has decided to oppose and go after our small business' trademark saying our pear logo is too close to their apple logo and supposedly hurts their brand? This is a big blow to us at Prepear. To fight this it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. The CRAZY thing is that Apple has done this to dozens of other other small business fruit logo companies, and many have chosen to abandon their logo, or close doors. While the rest of the world is going out of their way to help small businesses during this pandemic, Apple has chosen to go after our small business. I'm not trying to get anyone to stop using or buying Apple products. 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. 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. HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1 Sign the petition (link in my bio or in my stories) 2 Share that same link on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. http://chng.it/QPd2mRYW #savethepearfromapple