We are used to seeing Apple involved in multiple legal disputes regarding its products and services, but this one is a bit different. The Cupertino-based company has filed a lawsuit against Ukrainian indie film director Vasyl Moskalenko, who wrote the comedy film titled “Apple-Man.”
The first thing you might assume is that the movie has something about Apple (the company), but it doesn’t. Instead, the film is a satire on famous superheroes as the main character has the superpower to levitate apples (yes, the fruit). The film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, which raised about $120,000.
However, Apple’s legal department seems to have been less than pleased to have the company’s name associated with a comedy film. iPhone in Canada reports that Apple has sent a notice of opposition and initiated lawsuit proceedings against “Apple-Man” and director Moskalenko.
While the Apple-Man director said his movie has already been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Apple is seeking to have the trademark registration application denied by mounting “an aggressive opposition.”
Apple has initiated trial proceedings against Moskalenko over concerns that consumers are likely to believe that Apple-Man is “associated with, or approved, endorsed, or provided by Apple,” the company said in a 467-page court filing.
Moskalenko argues that the lawsuit from Apple is a “trademark bullying” since the film makes no mention of Apple products. The director fears that he will have to spend all the crowdfunded money on litigation or even be forced to “delete” the film.
My movie is about apples, the fruits. […] I’ll have to spend almost all my Kickstarter money on litigation. […] If my registration would be denied, there are no guarantees that Apple wouldn`t demand to delete my film after its release.
While Moskalenko is hoping to solve the situation with Apple, the company hasn’t provided any statement on the case.
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