Apple faces a complicated legal battle after trying to register its brand name in Russia.
The problem is that Apple didn’t just register its English name, but also its Russian counterpart – and the Russian for ‘Apple’ is ‘Yabloko’, which is also the name of a social democratic party founded in 1995.
If that wasn’t emotive enough for some Russians, Yabloko is a pun on the composite names of its former leaders. So the Californian electronics giant weren’t going to shift, then neither were the Russians.
Apple’s overall strategy hasn’t really endeared themselves to anyone in Russia either. It seems that just registering Yabloko wasn’t enough, so they’ve registered a number of variations. And Apple haven’t just registered themselves as a computer goods maker, but also as a paper producer, advertising company, entertainment and cultural event provider and, most bizarrely of all, a non-alcoholic beverage and beer maker.
We don’t have the inside scoop here. It could all be perfectly innocent, but Apple don’t operate by chance. The scattergun approach hasn’t been great for PR, not least because several of the categories that they registered themselves for have directly infringed on a previous copyright by Yabloko.
Yabloko are planning legal action and experts believe that Apple have little chance of winning any case. Will Apple even appeal? Did they really think they could get away with this? It’s not hard to work out that Yabloko wouldn’t be happy with Apple’s application, so why did they bother?
We’ll probably never know, but it’s nevertheless a valuable lesson for smaller businesses around the globe. Trademark registrations are never guaranteed, regardless of how successful you are. Planning is everything, which is why it’s always better to use a company like Revomark, who can offer specialist insight into the industry.
Revomark are proud to boast of a 98% success rate with the trademark applications we file.