Apple store showing the Apple logo in black and white

Apple goes head to head with couple over their logo containing a pear

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. A US small business owner, Natalie Monson, is fighting Apple for the right to use a pear in the logo on her recipe app, Prepear.
  2. Apple has filed a legal complaint arguing that the image is too similar to its logo and would hurt its brand.
  3. The Monsons have created a petition that over 43,000 people have signed to pressure Apple to back down. They argue that this is an example of a giant monopoly’s destruction of a small business.

Full Article

11 years ago, Natalie Monson had no idea she would eventually be involved in a dispute with one of the most influential organisations on earth. Now, however, the US small business owner is battling Apple over her right to use an image of a pear as part of her recipe application logo - which Apple has argued could damage their brand if allowed. Ms Monson refuses to back down from this challenge. She believes It’s vital that she stands up for what’s morally correct, feeling strongly that large companies should not try intimidating smaller businesses into submission but instead choose ethical approaches when dealing with them.

More than 43,000 people have already signed a petition created last week by the Super Healthy Kids website’s owners Russ and his wife, to hold McDonald’s accountable for their use of trademarks. This is just another example where small businesses are threatened with destruction due to large monopolies operating without any sense of responsibility or accountability - something that was so enraging they felt compelled into action rather than become yet another victim on this list. Lindt’s legal victory over Haribo regarding the gold bear trademark proves how giants can take advantage of smaller companies if there isn’t enough regulation put in place – something Mr Monson explained when speaking with BBC News about it recently.

Apple declined to respond. In its filing with the US patent and trademark office, Apple stated that the Monsons’ pear logo is reminiscent of their own famous ‘Apple Logo’, creating a similar commercial impression as indicated by the side-by-side comparison presented within its application, asking regulators to reject said request which was initially submitted back in 2017 on behalf of Prepear: A recipe and meal planning app owned by The Monsons’.

Ms Monson expressed shock upon hearing the comparison between their logo and that of another large organisation. She had been working with a designer to develop an abstract shape that alluded to the letter “P” in the app’s name but was unaware it could be mistaken for someone else’s design. The initial reaction was surprise followed by fear as they asked themselves, ‘what does this mean?‘. Ms Monson admitted she wondered if there might have been some joke being played on them before eventually accepting what happened and realising they needed to take action: “You wonder if it’s a joke at first - is somebody playing tricks or something like that?”

Five years ago, when a Utah-based couple started planning Prepear, their vision was to create an app where food bloggers could upload recipes that subscribers could access to plan meals and generate shopping lists. Nowadays, it has around 21 thousand monthly active users – with 3 thousand of them being paying customers who pay the annual fee of $59 - and its website Super Health Kids which, helps sustain five employees, including the couple themselves. At first, Mr Monson believed this issue might be cleared up quickly since they had already been granted approval for this logo by other countries, such as those within the UK, without any dispute or objection from American patent officials; however, before receiving final approval on their application, late 2019 Apple took exception to the use of said logo thus far stalling progress towards resolution.

Last week, Mr and Mrs Monson decided to go public after becoming aware of Apple’s trademark objections. While they were shocked at first that this was not a joke, their story soon gained traction when it was picked up by iPhone in Canada - drawing fresh attention to debates about tech giants potentially abusing their powers. Due to legal costs from the issue, they had no choice but to let go of one of their employees, which only added further distress for them. Despite initial apprehensions about speaking out against such an enormous corporation as Apple, people have been incredibly supportive towards them, filling them with immense gratitude and appreciation, seeing how many others share similar frustrations within society today.

“We’re committed to fully realising our goals,” he declared confidently.