Apple vs. A.pl – A Lawsuit Between the Tech Giant and a Small Online Grocery Store

A.pl logoDon’t worry. You read that title right. According to Polish website Telepolis, Apple is suing the online Polish grocery store a.pl. Apple says that the name a.pl can create confusion and take away from the search results to apple.com. Really Apple? When I searched Apple on google, nothing in the first ten pages was about the Polish grocery store and when I searched a.pl on Google, nothing Apple related came up within the first ten pages either.

I can see Apple might have an argument if they think that stock traders may get a.pl  confused with the Apple stock symbol AAPL, but I highly doubt that traders will be puzzled between a polish grocery store and one of the most valuable companies in the world. I think Apple’s power has gone to their head. Shouldn’t they be a little bit more concerned about the iPhone 5 that’s supposed to come out on Wednesday, than a small online grocery store that does home deliveries?

Comments

  1. younh says

    I know what is Apple and what is Samsumg. I would say Apple will win the law case is USA just because its make in USA. Why they don’t do this for the computer products? I’ll say because they are control by USA. Not the S.

  2. Piotr says

    Apple Co pathetic behavior and laughter. The company that copied and illegally used the name of Apple for 20 years, and at the end of the court settlement and payment of fines set by the court for the Beatles and Apple Rec so that they can continue to keep the logo and the name of a previously appropriated illegally. Invent nonsense now.

  3. Kennett says

    I think they’ve afraid of the competition so they are just going head hunting. And they figure it’s publicity if they win or lose. And if they keep winning it might scare other companies out of their market that they are losing. I was getting ready to load up on Apple products but not now. Long live the PC, Samsung, HTC, Google and other competitors.

  4. Louis says

    On a side note, the article was published on a Polish site, nothing of this has appeared anywhere else, so could it be possible that they got it wrong? did it for a publicity stunt for A.pl? or just plain made it up? Until more about this appears elsewhere then I wouldn’t jump to conclusions.

  5. Louis says

    I laugh out loud at all the people who have used Apple products before and love them and find they do what they want and now because Apple are going legal happy they have decided to boycott their products and buy and use products that they don’t like and don’t do all they want. WOW that makes perfect sense NOT!!! I personally am not gonna deny myself Apple products just cos the company has gone a little space happy.

    Personally I think Apple were right to sue Samsung, Samsung’s products were getting ridiculously close in look to Apple’s and Samsung knew what they were doing so they deserved a good slapping. Now as far as this Polish grocery store is concerned I think on the surface it’s stupid for Apple to do this but it won’t stop me from enjoying their products any less.

    • Andrew says

      So Louis, you think it’s OK to patent, copyright or trademark the shape of a book, the bookshelf it stands on, or how about many similiar looking motor vehicles on the road. Heaven forbid we need to change the shape of all vegetable and fruit in different countries because of this. and while I am at it the buildings we work and live in have to be different as well. Maybe the shape of a laptop or a desktop, oh I forgot we cannot have square or rectangle screens, or the shae of keyboard and mice.

      In the opinion of the masses and really what is right and wrong, Apple were not right in suing Samsung. As usual, it’s a bully boy Yankee company trying to dominate the world of a technology they never invented or owned. Through the blatant outright greed as a continent, they have stuffed up, pulling the rest of the world down with them, and are now trying every law trick in the book to make the world comply and pay them for shit. A reminder US law is not 100% applicable in the rest of the world, that’s hollywood crap. We are autonomous and sovereign contries and can tell companies like Apple to go screw themselves and put them out of business.

      • Mike says

        Well have you heard of Monsanto or Pioneer patenting seeds (life). Soon all seeds will be genetically engineered or will share the traits of GMO plants and we will not be able to grow crops with the intent to use seeds they produce for the next years crop without paying a yearly fee. If one test crop happens to pollinate over to another farmers non GMO crop they can be sued. If you can patent a seed you cant patent anything as long as there is money to be made.

  6. Dakota Edgerton says

    The funny thing is, the domain name was registered in 1999. There is no ‘statue of limitations’ on trademarks, per se, but when you fail to enforce your ownership of a trademark or allow “improper” usage of your trademark, you give up some rights to it; see Aspirin, Kleenex, and the Tatu Ylönen vs. OpenSSH.

    Of course, we all know Apple has more money, and they’ll win regardless, so the entire point is moot.

  7. WhyMeLord says

    Sounds a lot like Chick Fil A (yea THAT Chick Fil A) and their fight with the guy that was selling Eat More Kale T-shirts.

  8. Joanna says

    Well, I am Polish. I’ve had no idea about a.pl
    I am going to start to shop there. Thanks apple! By the way I’ve just joined the large group of people who doesn’t want to buy any of apple products anymore. They are big but became small minded.

  9. Steve says

    Apple does this kind of crap because they can afford to. It generates Internet buzz. This blog post is just one example. Like they say, “there’s no such thing as BAD publicity.”

    • Steve says

      BTW, I am NOT the same “Steve” who wrote the post right above mine! That’s just a really bizarre coincidence.
      I agree with the other Steve’s sentiments, but I don’t care enough about this to get so upset.

    • says

      This is nothing more than a pathetic,
      although brilliant attempt at marketing,
      allowing Apple to remain in the spotlight
      as they begin pushing the 5. Although
      Apple may offend and even ostracize
      individual customers with its outrageous
      claims, it enables the tech giant to make
      headlines and gain even more media
      exposure. It may not be the
      most moral marketing ploy… but it
      Certainly worked! Apple made headlining
      news again. Not to mention all the additional
      exposure we have given to Apple simply
      by talking and blogging about the company.
      I am not saying I agree with the lawsuit.
      Anyone with half a brain who
      stops to think about it, even for a second,
      will most likely come to the same conclusion:
      It is truly a ridiculous claim. However, as
      a marketing strategy it is actually quite
      ingenious. As stated above, and the first rule
      of marketing and campaigning,
      “there is no such thing as negative publicity”.

  10. TM says

    I wonder why they waste tons of money for lawyers. I’m sure they could make a nice deal with the a.pl guys allowing them to close their store and never having to work again. And probably that wouldn’t cost them much more than the lawsuit with probably overpaid lawyers.

  11. g says

    I’ve been using Iphone for years, but next phone will be an Android. And not because I don’t like the product, but I don’t like the company.

  12. says

    This is a great post, \Nicholas – good job (I know that you are new to this.). Apple is simply expanding it’s ‘headline store’. it’s a mere illusion to keep Apple in the headlines – something that we thought this company was better than. This sleight of hand does nothing for the company, whereas the i-phone5 will contain the real magic. See my site for more details.

  13. ashok pai says

    Apple needs to be stopped if they do not stop at this madness. create a shitstorm around this company that’s driven by public perception and massive ad spending. money can’t buy love for apple. they are just going berserk. the latest example is just one of the examples of what a messed thinking they have about their trademarks and their artwork. what next, sue vendors and farmers for gorwing fruit named after their company ? pfft!

  14. Scott Smith says

    Folks, to protect a trademark, US law requires that the trademark owner take action against anyone who is using that trademark or something close to the trademark, even if it isn’t really a major threat. If you don’t take action, it can be argued in court later that you have ‘abandoned’ your trademark, and it is fair game for anyone to use/misuse. It sounds insane, but that is US trademark and patent law. Call your congressman.

    • ken says

      Folks, in order for there to be a need to protect a trademark, US law requires that the trademark owner take action against anyone who is using that trademark or something close to that trademark, even if it isn’t really a major threat, IF THE POTENTIAL INFRINGEMENT IS IN THE SAME INDUSTRY FOR WHICH THE TRADEMARK IS GRANTED!

      Fixed that for you.

      The reason for that is so that McDonald’s doesn’t have to waste time trying to take action against any McDonald’s Auto Body Shop, or Dell Computers doesn’t have to take action against “The Farmer In the Dell” farms. Note that those names are ones I just invented. The point is, you are awarded a trademark for a specific industry, not a general one that covers any and all business ever, for everything. A.pl is in no way shape or form infringing on Apple’s trademark. There is ZERO reason for this action by Apple.

      • Rover says

        Hmmm, is that like when they promised Apple (the record label) that they would never be involved in the music industry? what are itunes?

  15. Kaczorek Donald says

    This is outrageous! I cannot believe this can happen again after Samsung-Apple trial. They have a patent on a rectangle with rounded edges and now they try to patent the alphabet. Everybody knows that Apple does no innovation and is 2 years behind competition in every aspect but trying to defend your lousy products in courts not on the market in really sad. If iPhones were worth a penny they would do good on the market without suing our supermarkets. I definitely don’t like Apple because of the policy of incompatibility, making life hard for the customer, obtaining patents for trivial things… like rectangles, squares, letters of the alphabet and fruits.
    I won’t buy a SINGLE Apple product ’cause I will not give their stupid lawyers funds for suing other companies over nothing just to destroy them. Apple is finished.

      • Robert McKenzie says

        Considering a.pl was created back in 1999, why has Apple waited 12 years to sue? There should be statues of limitations on things like this. It’s just Apple trying to show they’re the biggest bully in the playground … again. I might even give my company provided iPad back to them and tell them to keep it, I don’t even what Apple products in my house any more .. that goes for the red and green ones too ..

        • Opinionated says

          I never liked apple, and I have never allowed apple products in my house or on any family members computers. I do not understand why people become obsessed with such a money grabbing company. They act like they’re better than everyone else and make the products that make the fans have the same reaction as them. I am a Samsung person myself, and I think Samsung Galaxy S3 could take a S*** all over the iPhone. Just to add, What is with the fudging “i” at the start of everything, pretty gay… Maybe it’s time people stop buying Apple products and put an end to such a disgraceful company.

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