In an epic case of “you snooze, you lose,” an Italian clothier has won the right to continue using "Steve Jobs" as its brand name.
The Steve Jobs clothing company was founded in 2012 by Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato. The brothers named their company after the famous Apple co-founder when they discovered the electronics giant had not trademarked his name.
The duo told Italian news outlet la Repubblica Napoli, “We did our market research, and we noticed that Apple, one of the best-known companies in the world, never thought about registering its founder's brand, so we decided to do it.”
They even mimicked the Apple logo by taking a big bite out of a “J” and putting an apple leaf on top.
When Apple got wind of the company, it filed a lawsuit against the Barbato brothers. Of course, since Apple had failed to trademark Steve Jobs' name, they lost the suit. The European Union's Intellectual Property Office declined Apple’s claim to the brand in 2014 and awarded it to the brothers just this year.
Apple also sued the company for infringement of its logo. That suit was lost as well.
According to the brothers, the Intellectual Property Office concluded that the logo deviated enough from Apple's and "that the letter 'J' can not be perceived as edible, and therefore the missing part can not be perceived as a bite."
The company currently specializes in clothing and accessories but plans to start producing electronics. “We are working on a line of highly innovative electronic devices, projects we have been working on for years,” they said.
The brothers did not reveal what types of electronics they were designing but considering the name they have to work with, we can probably safely say that they will be in direct competition with Apple. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.
Images via la Repubblica Napoli