Spoiler alert: it’s not a joke. And if it is, it’s a cruel one: Apple, the multi-billion dollar tech company, is suing a small Polish online grocery store. And the subject of the suit is so petty that it’s sure to do more to damage Apple’s reputation than its disappointing iPhone 5.
So apparently, there’s a Polish online grocery store called A.pl. They named it that because they’re trying to build their name on the famous tech company’s fame. Except, not really because this is planet earth and not everything is about Apple.
In reality, the online grocery store chose “A” because that’s the first letter in the Polish alphabet and “.pl” because it’s the Internet country code domain for Polish websites. And probably because together, they sound a little bit like apple and that’s a cute moniker for a grocery store chain. And a good excuse to use this cute logo:
Sounds innocent enough, right? But not for Apple. Upon hearing about the grocery store’s audacity at infringing on their copyright on all things apple, Apple’s lawyers contacted Patentowy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Poland’s Patent Office) and demanded that the Polish government cancel A.pl’s existing trademark.
And now the world knows that there’s at least one lawyer on Apple’s payroll whose job it is to CTRL+F the word “apple” in all of its myriad permutations. I wonder how much he makes an hour and if that money couldn’t have been better spent adding better specs to the mediocre iPhone 5 like NFC technology or HD Voice that you can actually use.
We wish this case were public and we knew more about the arguments on both sides. Unfortunately, it’s not. And that makes us wonder about how many other frivolous lawsuits Apple’s busy lawyers have been waging against little girls’ apple juice stands or Gwenyth Paltrow’s daughter.
But we do know that Apple intends to pursue this case until the bitter end. And as Apple likely has more money to fund this frivolous suit than the tiny grocery store it’s suing, A.pl will likely have to give up its domain name. And Apple will have dibs on an obscure Polish web address that it will certainly never use.
After you stop laughing at the absurdity of the case, it’s a little disquieting. Apple is getting bolder and bolder with its suits. Soon we’ll be eating Apple brand apples and we’ll have to write to Cupertino for expressed permission any time we want to draw a rectangle.
I certainly hope that the Polish judge presiding over the case will throw it into the garbage right where it belongs.