Apple Objects to Chinese Food Company’s Logo

Apple has filed objections with Chinese regulators on a trademark filing for the logo of Sichuan Fangguo Food Co., Ltd., according to GoChenDoo. Apple sent a letter to the firm asking for the leaf seen in the image below to be removed from the logo and for the company to retract its application for the trademark in two categories, “Notebook Computers” and “Electronic Game Software,” two markets in which the food company does not compete, but in which Apple does.

Li Gousheng, an attorney for Beijing Zhucheng Law, which sent the letter on Apple’s behalf, said that Apple closely monitors new trademark applications in China. He added that if the two conditions listed above were met, Apple would withdraw its opposition to the trademark application.

Fangguo vs. Apple

The logos of Sichuan Fangguo Food Co., Ltd. and Apple, Inc.
Source: GoChenDoo

Fangguo CEO Zhao Yi called balderdash on Apple’s claims, noting that his logo was created in the 1980s, long before he had ever heard of Apple. Whether or not that will be germane to Chinese trademark disputes remains to be seen.

“There’s a leaf so you can tell it’s an apple, but it also contains two Chinese characters,” Mr. Zhao said. “The orientation is also different, and ours is a totally different shape. When I started Fangguo, I had never even heard of Apple.”

He added, “I’m Fangguo, it’s a fruit, if the leaf is removed, it’ll just look like a bomb. Anyway, the law firm who sent the letter hasn’t contacted me since they sent it.”

Those two Chinese characters also evoke another tech firm, Korea-based LG Electronics, as noted by CNet’s Chris Matyszczyk, who first spotted the GoChenDoo story, as well as commenters in that original article. No word yet if LG will be complaining about the “Notebook Computers” and “Electronic Game Software” categories.

LG Electronics Logo

LG Electronics logo

If you’re curious why a maker of food products would make a play on computers and games, he told GoChenDoo that he added those categories in the off-chance that someone came along in the future who wanted to use the Fangguo name in the computer field.