Technology

Chinese Clothing Brand Sues Apple For Copying App Store Logo

Apple has been sued by a Chinese clothing company for alleged copyright infringement of its logo. The Chinese label KON has demanded a compensation of $15,200, a court in Beijing said Tuesday.

apple app store logo
tookapic / Pixabay

Apple App Store logo not original

KON states that the App Store logo is strikingly similar to its own, and the company has been using it as a merchandise trademark since 2011. According to Dongcheng District People’s Court in Beijing, which has accepted the lawsuit, the trademark was registered in 2012. The Chinese news agency Xinhua stated that along with the compensation, KON is demanding an injunction against infringing devices such as iPhones and iPads and a public apology from the U.S. firm.

The new logo was adopted by Apple this year, in place of the old pencil, brush and ruler, notes Xinhua. Both of the logos have a similar triangular stick design. If we dig deeper, sticks in the KON’s logo appear to be sharper than that of Apple’s App Store logo. However, if one glances through, both might look the same or at least close enough to be confused.

In the complaint, KON also stated that their logo was inspired by the British punk rock band the Sex Pistols, and the lines define the bones, metaphorically, the power of life over death. If Apple decides not to settle the case, it might cost millions for rebranding, according to a report from Apple Insider. KON is a Beijing-based clothing label and was launched in 2009. The brand targets young customers.

As of now, there have been no comments from Apple and KON over the lawsuit.

Apple, China and disputes – nothing new

This is not the first time when Apple has found itself in the middle of a trademark controversy in China. Earlier, a company producing leather goods under the name “iPhone” urged the court that Apple cannot retain the exclusive right for the mark, which the Chinese manufacturer has officially registered. The case went in favor of the Chinese manufacturer. A few years back, Apple paid $60 million to settle the iPad trademark dispute in China.

China, however, is not the only country where Apple is fighting (or has fought) infringement cases. A few years back, one iPhone trademark-related dispute surfaced in Brazil, where a consumer electronics firm won the case against the California-based company. Previously, the iPhone maker was sued by Tokyo-based Emonster for using the “Animoji.” Further, Apple is already waging a patent war with Qualcomm.

China is witnessing growing instances of copyright infringement. Chinese authorities recently stated that they handled a total of 514 cases of online copyright infringement and shut down 290 websites during the July to November campaign. Further, the authorities stated that a total of 4.67 million yuan fines were levied for illegal downloads of movies and games, notes Hindustan Times.

In August 2017, China set up its first court to handle the internet-related cases, in the e-commerce hub of Hangzhou. Companies such as Alibaba are situated in Hangzhou. According to Xinhua, the Hangzhou Internet Court looks after cases such as online trade disputes and copyright lawsuits.