Apple Sues an Italian Company Named ‘Steve Jobs’ — And Loses

Steve Jobs brand logo, Resembling Apple's iconic logo
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Steve Jobs brand logo, Resembling Apple's iconic logo
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Logo for Italian brand ‘Steve Jobs’

Steve Jobs is now the name of an Italian clothing and accessories company — much to the chagrin of tech giant Apple.

It all began in 2012 when brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato named their clothing brand ‘Steve Jobs’.  The brothers discovered that the name of Apple’s founder was never trademarked by Apple or any other company.  This paved the way for them to ‘own’ the name.

In addition, they also designed and registered a logo that has a chunk bitten out of the side of the letter ‘J’.  It also has a single bent leaf sprouting from the top.

One cannot help but notice the stark similarity to Apple’s iconic logo.

Accordingly, Apple filed a case to fight the trademark application and a decision was handed down in April 2014.  The European Union’s Intellectual Property Office rejected Apple’s trademark opposition.  Almost unthinkably, the decision fell in favor of the brothers.

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In its decision, the Intellectual Property Office concluded that “the ‘J’ logo that appears bitten was not infringing on Apple’s own designs.

A letter is not edible and thus the cutout in the letter cannot be perceived as a ‘bite.’

La Repubblica Napoli interviewed the brothers who surmised that Apple’s battle against the logo was a huge mistake.

Since that point, the brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo have remained mum about the case, even though a decision was already handed down.  Now, the claim on the brand has finally been officially settled, effective December, 2017.

But that’s not all.  The brothers also obtained legal rights to the brand globally, allowing them to use it as they wish.

The Steve Jobs label is now available in jeans, bags, t-shirts, other clothing apparel, and fashion items.  Watch out for a line of electronic devices carrying the name of Steve Jobs in the near future.  Sounds ambitious, and prelude to another legal standoff.



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