Clothing Company Named 'Steve Jobs' Can Keep Name After Apple Loses Legal Battle
Apple isn't having a very good final week of 2017. Already being forced to admit older iPhones were being purposefully slowed down, followed by an apology and cheap battery replacement offer, now Apple has lost a multi-year Steve Jobs branding legal battle.
As The Verge reports, it started back in 2012 when Italian brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato realized Apple hadn't trademarked the name Steve Jobs, so they did instead. It became their company name with the logo based on the Apple logo by adding a bite mark to the "J" in Steve Jobs. Clothing and accessories were then offered under the brand.
As you'd expect, Apple wasn't pleased with the name of its co-founder being used by someone else, so the brothers were hit with a lawsuit. Apple focused on the logo, but because the letter "j" isn't seen as an edible item, the bite mark in it wasn't viewed by the courts as copying Apple's own logo.
Apple lost the fight and the brothers get to keep their trademark and can continue to use the name. However, it's going to become even more frustrating for Apple as the Steve Jobs brand isn't going to remain limited to clothing and accessories. Vincenzo and Giacomo are planning to expand the business to offer electronics goods, so we will eventually see gadgets sporting the Steve Jobs name.
We could end up seeing a Steve Jobs smartphone and tablet, and most likely they would run Android. If they launch a laptop, Windows 10 and not macOS would be used. But if they did choose to offer such devices, Apple would have a fresh case against them.