Power of Corporate Trademark Stupidity
NYC registered a trademark on the green apple with stem that doesn't have a bite taken out of it. A few months later, Apple registered a challenge. Mind you, there is no reasonably way one could confuse reducing energy consumption in New York City with the computer and consumer electronics company. If they think that's a threat, why not go after Apple Records because they're involved in music, and that at least has some connection to the iPod. Oh, wait, right - Apple Records was there first.
So Apple Inc. thinks that NYC is competition and is taking action? Let's count all the ways this is about one of the most stupid things it could have done:
- New York City isn't some kid in Harvard writing a blog and without funds. This is an economy unto itself, with lots of wherewithal to mount a legal challenge that will rattle the teeth of Steve Jobs.
- This has got to be an incredibly stupid PR move. The company is essentially branding itself as anti-green.
- New York City has used the Big Apple as a slogan far earlier than the first time Steve Wozniak cobbled together his first personal computer prototype.
- Because there are so many organizations and businesses using apples in names and logos, as the City Room blog of the New York Times points out, Apple has very possibly fallen into the dangerous ground of selectively protecting its trademark, which could provide grounds for it to lose that bit of intellectual property.
- The city realizes the potential weakness of Apple's position, because it responded to the US Patent and Trademark office that Apple used fraud to win overly broad protection.