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Forbidden Fruit: Apple in a Logo Fight With Norwegian Right-Wing Party

© AP Photo / Mark LennihanApple logo
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The Progress Party's decades-old red apple symbol has been contested by technology giant Apple Inc, which claims that that the two apples are too easy to confuse.

The Progress Party's application to the Norwegian Patent Office to register their apple logo with some graphical modifications as a brand in several categories has been disputed by Apple, the newspaper Verdens Gang reported.

Progress Party Secretary General Fredrik Färber explained that his party was in the progress of introducing some graphic updates to its apple logo in ten different categories.

"The categories that involve our trademark apple include political and education activities. But we will also protect our logo for election campaigns, clothing and various small items," he explained.

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In their objection, Apple claimed that the Progress Party's logo resembled Apple's well-known trademark.

"The objection is based on the fact that the registered mark is likely to be confused with our client's previously registered rights," lawyer Trine Greaker Herzog, who represents Apple, wrote in a letter to the Norwegian Patent Office. She also pointed out that the Progress Party's logo can be confused with several other Apple logos, including Apple Music and Apple Pay.

Färber voiced the party's readiness to resolve the dispute amicably.

"We are prepared to solve this and believe we will get it. The Progress Party has been using its apple logo for about 30 years. Apple supplies computer equipment while we are making politics. There is no danger of confusion," Färber suggested.

Knut Bostad of the Norwegian Patent Office confirmed that the parties are in a dialogue, and the deadline has been extended from 12 February to 12 May.

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"If they don't agree, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office will make a new assessment of the situation", Bostad explained.

Apple's first logo was designed by Rob Janoff in 1977 and first appeared in rainbow colours. Since the late 1990s, the company has been using a monochromatic version of the logo. The Progress Party was founded in 1973, but didn't use its red apple logo with a green leaf and the letter F (for its Norwegian name "Fremskrittspartiet") until the early 1990s.

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On Verdens Gang's Facebook page, many Norwegians voiced their disbelief.

"Is there anyone in Norway who doesn't know the difference between the two?" one user wondered.

"Soon, you'll be sued for having apple trees in your garden. What grows on them is similar to a certain logo. These two don't have the same shape or colour. This case only reflects how idiotic our society has become," another Facebook user mused.

"Let's vote Apple in the next elections," another quipped.

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