Apple has lost another copyright battle, this time against an Italian company that uses the name of their late founder “Steve Jobs” as its clothing brand.
In 2012, two entrepreneurs-brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato who come from Arzano, a town north of Naples, had registered the name “Steve Jobs” as their clothing line, when they discovered that Apple had not trademarked the name of its founder.
The duo told Italian news outlet la Repubblica Napoli, “The innovator par excellence was Steve Jobs, this was the spark. We did our market research and we noticed that Apple, one of the best known companies in the world, never thought about registering its founder’s brand, so we chose to do it.”
They even imitated the Apple logo to make the “J” appear as bitten by apple and putting an apple leaf on top.
On realizing this, Apple filed a lawsuit against the Barbato brothers for using Steve Jobs’ name and a logo that mimics the Apple logo. As the duo had already registered the trademark ‘Steve Jobs’ internationally, the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office ruled in favor of the Barbatos in 2014 and rejected Apple’s trademark lawsuit. While Apple’s claim to the brand was declined in 2014, it was awarded to the Barbatos brothers only this year.
According to reports, Apple also lost the suit for infringement of its logo, as the Intellectual Property Office concluded that the logo differed enough from Apple’s and “that the letter ‘J’ cannot be perceived as edible, and therefore the missing part cannot be perceived as a bite.”
With now having full legal rights to use the name and logo worldwide, the brothers are pushing forward their plans to expand into other product lines. Currently, the company specializes in clothing and accessories but plans to start producing electronics.
“We are working on a line of highly innovative electronic devices, projects we have been working on for years,” they said.
They say they are looking for partnerships and “are in talks for a production of electronics products with a Chinese brand.” They are serious about potentially releasing an Android-based “Steve Jobs Phone,” but they insist they will keep it elegant. “We will not do anything low-level, you will never see the phones or TV shoddy with the brand Steve Jobs,” they told Business Insider Italia.