According to a notice of opposition filed with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on Monday, Apple Inc. has asked the trademark oversight body to reject Silver Apple Inc.’s application to register a namesake trademark. The filing argues that registration of the Silver Apple’s mark will likely cause confusion, mistake, or deception and will dilute Apple’s famous mark in violation of the Lanham Act.
From at least 1977, the opposition explains, Apple has extensively promoted and sold goods and services in connection with a family of trademarks consisting wholly or partly of the word Apple and the company logo, a stylized apple with a detached leaf. Apple asserts that its brand is one of the best-known in the world. In support of this contention, Apple points to recognition by national publications such as Forbes and Interbrand, acknowledging its brand as one of the most, if not the most, valuable in the world for ten years running.
The opposition contends that Apple has numerous valid registrations for a variety of goods and services including consumer electronics, creative computer applications, and educational programming. The applicant seeks to register the proposed SilverApple mark in connection with several classes including for use with business data analysis and compilation, educational services, and “research and development of advanced learning technologies and teaching methods.”
The opposition argues that consumers encountering the SilverApple mark will be likely to associate the mark with Apple because it “encompasses the APPLE mark as a whole and creates a similar overall commercial impression.” The proposed mark, as depicted in the opposition and reprinted below, also “evokes and is a nearly identical shape as the top half of the Apple Logo,” the filing says.
As such, and because of the risk of false association with Apple and dilution of its famous marks, the opposition requests that the TTAB refuse the registration. Apple is represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.