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Apple's Apple Design Well-Known In Argentina

Jun 26, 2012
Iris V. Quadrio and Maria Luisa Santa Maria

Apple Computer, Inc v. Goldfarb, Roberto Jaime

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In re "Apple Computer, Inc v. Goldfarb, Roberto Jaime" Division 2 of the National Court of Appeals on Federal Civil and Commercial Matters held that Apple Computer's characteristic apple design is a well-known mark in Argentina and considered that it was an important distinctive factor that avoided confusion with the opposing trademark.

Apple Computer had applied for registration of its apple design in International class 35, which was opposed by defendant on the basis of the registration of his own apple design in the same class. Apple Computer filed a lawsuit seeking that the opposition be declared groundless.

The Court of First Instance admitted the complaint and the Appellate Court upheld the lower court's decision, stating that it was not possible to claim exclusive rights over generic designs.

In particular, the Appellate Court indicated that exclusivilty can only be claimed in respect of the characteristic features of the chosen design and not on apple designs in general. After comparing the designs at hand, the court considered that they were not confusingly similar, specifically taking into account that Apple Computer's mark was well-known, which prevented confusion with other designs.

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