Apple slips on banana skin and allows ‘Banana’ oppositions to lapse
Apple being one of the biggest tech company in the world, are always keeping their intellectual property legal team busy.
However, it seems that they have allowed them to be a bit lax of late, as two EU trade mark oppositions have lapsed after Apple failed to file any arguments.
The issues stemmed from two EU trade mark applications filed by Banana Computers who are based in Spain.
In 2016, they made two applications to protect two figurative marks as EU trades, one referencing ‘Banana Computer’ and the other ‘Banana Mobile’.
Both of these applications were filed in respect of the selling of computers and other tech products and the installation and repair of computers, televisions and mobiles.
In January 2017, Apple opposed the applications, on the grounds that it would cause a likelihood of confusion and the new applications would encroach on their established brands.
When filing the oppositions, Apple cited three of their marks all displaying images of apples, which are registered in classes 35 and 37 amongst others.
The opposition was considered by the EU Intellectual Property Office at the beginning of this year, who rejected both oppositions.
Apple filed an application to set aside the opposition in March 2018. As part of this, they needed to file a statement of grounds which outlined on which grounds they are appealing the ruling, within four months of the opposition decision.
Apple failed to do this, and they also failed to provide written evidence within a further month timescale given by the Office.
Due to this, following a number of notifications confirming these timescales, Apple’s appeal has been rejected on the grounds it is inadmissible.
It is difficult to see if this was the intention of Apple or whether their team went a bit bananas and missed two deadlines.
By Ellis Sweetenham