An article in The Guardian - Apple's rot starts with its Samsung lawsuit win

Makes the following claim:

Apple is one of the most aggressive intellectual property litigators of all time ... It's sued about the lower case "i"; it's sued about the word "pod"; it's sued New York City over the "big Apple"

Did Apple sue New York City over the "Big Apple"? Looking at the Wikipedia entry for Big Apple the nickname has been around since the 1920's, so I don't see how Apple could sue over it.

1 Answer 1


Apple Inc. did sue NYC, however it was not about "Big Apple" nickname, but the logo that went along with it — a stylized apple.

GreeNYC vs Apple

Apple filed a federal challenge to New York's trademark application for a new "Big Apple" logo, saying it's too similar to the stylized emblem found on iPhones, iPods and iMac computers.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said the symbol for New York's "GreeNYC" initiative promoting energy efficiency and recycling is confusingly similar to the logo used by the electronics maker since 1977.

NYC & Company Inc., the city's nonprofit tourism and marketing office, filed the trademark application in May, playing off of New York's "Big Apple" nickname.

New York already has begun using the logo, which morphs the symbol for infinity (similar to a figure 8 on its side) with the outline of an apple, a stem and a single leaf. [...]

Source: "Apple sues New York over logo", LA Times

At the same time Apple filled opposition in USPTO, which sided with NYC, dismissing the opposition.

The story was also covered on Wired.com.

  • 37
    Wow, those two logos don't even look remotely the same...
    – Izkata
    Aug 30, 2012 at 14:43
  • @Izkata - There is an awful lot of similarity but I don't think that anyone would confuse the two. From a graphic's perspective the exterior edge of the NYC logo matches well, almost too well, with the Apple logo.
    – Mayo
    Jan 7, 2020 at 21:57

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