Apple versus Woolworths: logo smackdown

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Apple versus Woolworths: logo smackdown
UPDATE 2: Be sure to read Engadget's analysis of what appears to be a non-event here.

Apple is apparently getting hot and bothered over Australian/New Zealand supermarket chain Woolworths' new logo. Woolworths insists the logo is merely a stylized "W," but Apple's copyright lawyers aren't buying it. They're trying to knock down Woolworths' copyright application for the logo by claiming it violates Apple's intellectual property.

Apparently, according to trademark lawyer Trevor Choy, Apple does this fairly often, trying to make sure that some other company's branding can't be mistaken for its iconic logo.

I'll admit that at first glance the logos look similar (to me, anyway – my ex-graphic designer wife doesn't agree). Even so, it seems kind of a stretch to assume anyone is going to confuse Woolworths, a supermarket chain based only in Australia and New Zealand that mostly sells, you know, food, with Apple, a worldwide company that sells computers. Trust me, I shop at the Woolworths here in Palmerston North every week; it's a decent grocer, but nobody's going to wander in there looking for a MacBook Pro.

What do you think? Does Apple have a case here? Or is it sort of ridiculous for Apple to claim that anything roundish with a leaf on top endangers its trademark? Sound off in the comments.

UPDATE: A couple of points we should clear up on this post. First, Apple is not, in fact, the aggressor in this case. No one is, really. It is a trademark action, and as far as we know it has NOT become a lawsuit. It appears to be a part of the trademark process as it happens down under. Apple is free to object, and since Woolworths is attempting to register their mark across a huge range of products (like computers), they are practically obligated to do so. We'll keep an eye out for any interesting developments, however. - Ed.

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