26 September 2017Trademarks

Apple seeks cancellation of ‘Appletree’ mark at TTAB

Apple has petitioned the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel a mark registered by a regulatory affairs service provider.

Filed on September 15 and instituted on Thursday, September 21, Apple’s case stated that there is a likelihood of confusion unless Appletree CI Group’s ‘Appletree’ trademark is cancelled.

On its website, Appletree CI Group claims to be a niche contract research organisation focusing on ophthalmology and medical device investigations and also on regulatory affairs worldwide.

The organisation lists five offices in Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and the UK.

The trademark in question, US number 4,208,384, is registered in classes 5, covering pharmaceutical products; 42, in relation to consulting and services in the science and technology sector; and 44, covering medical and pharmaceutical consultation.

Appletree filed the trademark in October 2011 and it was granted in September 2012.

“There is no issue as to priority,” stated Apple in the petition.

“Apple began using the Apple marks in commerce at least as early as 1977, well prior to respondent’s 2011 filing date. Indeed, Apple’s 13 marks became famous well before respondent’s filing date and the first use of respondent’s mark.”

Apple listed several trademarks it owns in relation to the Apple name, including US registration numbers 1,078,312 for the ‘Apple’ mark, first registered in 1977, and 3,717,431 for ‘Applecare’, first registered in 2009.

“Respondent’s mark is likely to cause dilution by blurring of the famous Apple marks,” Apple concluded.

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