She will not be Apple’s in Australia

Australian idiom for “it will be alright” is “she’ll be apples” but recently, Apple Inc found that she won’t. A recent decision by a Delegate of the Registrar of Trade Marks (Apple Inc v Wholesale Central Pty Ltd [2010] ATMO 7) has found against Apple Inc., and in favour of a small company dealing in digital device accessories to continue to use their ‘DOPi’ brand. On the face of it the decision appears fairly obvious considering the differences in the marks in question (‘iPOD’ vs ‘DOPi'(stylised)) but the case does emphasise Apple’s litigation strategy to box-on regardless of the merits of a case.Wholesale Central Pty Ltd filed a trade mark application for ‘DOPi’ (stylised) in Class 9 on 24 February 2007 (Australian trade mark Application No. 1162904) which was accepted by an Examiner and then opposed by Apple Inc on 21 September 2007. Although all grounds of opposition were claimed in the Notice of Opposition, only the grounds under Sections 44 and 60 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 were pursued at the Hearing.

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