Apple keeps losing legal battles to an Italian company called “Steve Jobs”

Gizmodo:

When two brothers from Naples decided to stop doing fashion design for other companies and start a brand of their own, they went hunting for an attention-grabbing name. They discovered that “Steve Jobs” wasn’t trademarked and decided on that. Now, a protracted legal battle has come to an end, and they have big plans for using the Apple founder’s name on pretty much anything.

And:

As expected, Apple’s legal department soon sent the brothers four large folders of legal documents and went to war. But the brothers won the case.

It’d be one thing if the founder was named Steve Jobs. But this is straight-forward riding on someone else’s coattails.

That said, there are plenty of precedents. Here’s one that springs to mind.



  • Meaux

    Also Newton, Tesla, Lincoln, Franklin anything, and the original Apple logo.

    • EVula

      Arguably, those are very different, if only because the people attached to those names have been dead for a very, very long time (and wouldn’t likely be eligible for trademark/copyright protection).

      There’s also a difference between using just a last name (even though it’s not like “Tesla” is a reference to anyone other than Nikola, or “Newton” being a reference to anyone other than Isaac) and using a full name; if the brothers had used just “Jobs,” it’s doubtful that Apple would’ve gone after them.

      • Meaux

        Apple’s original logo had a picture of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Also, AFAIK trademarks never expire as long as you’re an ongoing operation.

        • EVula

          Cool.

          Has Isaac Newton been an ongoing operation since 1642? If not, my point still stands.

          • Meaux

            Is there a Steve Jobs company? On what basis does Apple claim to own his name? This isn’t even Jobs’ estate making the claim. If someone named a company Gil Amelia or Jony Ive after they die, does Apple have the right to stop those? Does Disney get a piece of the naming rights for buying Pixar?

          • Kriztyan

            Straw man argument much?

            This issue primarily is creating a brand that does not stand on it’s own, but in fact is piggy backing on a carefully crafted multibillion brand. That said, it’s not right, but it has also not been found illegal by the Italian court. Again, just because it’s not illegal, does not make it honest or right.

            It’s like arguing that a stomach parasite has the right to exist and killing it is alienating it’s right. Sure, it indeed has the right to exist, but nobody want’s it in there stomach.

          • Meaux

            What’s the straw man? I’m not saying what the company is doing is honorable, I’m saying that companies use famous names frequently. I also question what right Apple believes it has on Jobs’ name. This seems like an extreme case of corporate entitlement. If this suit came from his widow or his daughter, I would be sympathetic to the case. What principle is there for Apple to own his name?

          • EVula

            Your rebuttals are weak and annoying to respond to. Ciao.

          • Meaux

            That’s one way to say, “I have no rebuttal.” Answer me a simple question, what right does Apple Inc. have on Steve Jobs’ name? If this suit was brought by Laurene Powell Jobs or one of Steve’s children it would be a completely different story.

        • a logo of an apple isn’t the same as using an estate’s name.

  • davebarnes

    The difference is that Einstein is dead whilst Steve is merely in hiding with Elvis.

  • Oh, yeah, your example makes sense:

    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” — Baby Einstein

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  • john doofus

    tacky

  • The Cappy

    Bad example. There’s no company founded by Einstein, to cause confusion.

    • Sharon

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  • JimCracky

    These fellows are right, the courts have ruled, and apple can go pound salt.

    • Jeanna

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  • Brandon

    Steve Jobs died in 2011, this company applied for trademark using his name in 2012. If this company had any honor, they would have dropped the name when it was contended. They didn’t, because they are cashing in on his legacy.

    Scum sucking bottom feeders.