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September 7, 2011

Apple Wins iCloud Brand Naming, Sets Sights on Chinese Bombs

iCould.pngApple is in the news today for aggressively defending its trademarks (surprise, surprise).

But there are two snippets that are really quite interesting.

The first is that Arizona's iCloud Communications has quietly (I mean, silently) changed its name after kicking up a fuss back in June over Apple's new iCloud brand name.

I covered this and remember thinking that it seemed ridiculous that the iCloud name was never trademarked by the Arizona group, an omission that Apple's lawyers most likely took notice of.

After indignantly saying "Apple has a long and well-known history of knowingly and willfully treading on the trademark rights of others," iCloud Communications filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of its case with the US District Court of Arizona and is now referring to itself as "Clear Communications."

The weird thing is that the Facebook picture for the new company features the name "iCloud Communications" and when a reporter called iCloud, er Clear, for a comment, somebody answered the phone with the greeting "iCloud Communications" and then quickly reversed himself, saying that was just a "bad habit."

Apple has no comment on this, as usual, but I think that iCloud Communications was probably paid a tidy sum to rethink its company naming, not least because the new iPhone 5 pre-orders are starting in Germany with iCloud and iOS 5 as part of the package.

ApplevsFangguo.pngApple has also been busy in China, sending a letter to the Fangguo Food Co. for its logo that "depicts a circular apple, replete with leaf and stem, with the bottom left quarter missing."

Aside from the fact that the logo also contains Chinese characters, one might point out that Fangguo Food Co. actually sells apples. But the logo has also been registered for notebook computers and games, thus drawing the attention of Cupertino.

Apple says they just need to remove "conflicting elements" in the logo - like the leaf - and all will be well, but the owner of Fangguo says this will make his logo look like a bomb.

I can see that. A bomb with a bite taken out of it.

The owner, Zhao Yi, also points out that when he started the company he had never heard of Apple (which is really not much of a defense). The logo was created in the 1980s and Zhao Yi has no plans to enter the computer market. Nonetheless, he is not taking this lying down.

He handed out 1,000 questionnaires at the Fourth China Trademark Convention asking volunteers if they thought the two logos resembled each other. The results are forthcoming.

If you ask me, the logo kind of looks more like the Apple power button.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 7, 2011 9:06 AM
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