What you need to know
- Apple and Prepear have gone into direct negotiations.
- Prepear's logo is the subject of a trademark dispute with Apple.
Reported by MacRumors, it appears that Apple and Prepear have entered negotiations to settle a trademark dispute that Apple has filed against the company.
While Apple has not dropped its opposition, it appears a resolution to the dispute may be coming fairly soon, as filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week have requested that the trial proceedings be suspended for 30 days as the "parties are actively engaged in negotiations for the settlement of this matter."
Back in August, it was reported that Apple had opposed Prepear's trademark application for its logo, a pear that Apple claims too closely resembles the Apple logo.
According to the founders, Apple "has opposed the trademark application for our small business, Prepear, demanding that we change our obviously pear shaped logo, used to represent our brand in the recipe management and meal planning business."
In response to Apple's objection, Prepear started a Change.org petition to get public support in order to save its logo. So far, the petition has received over a quarter of a million signatures. While it is unclear what led both parties to engage in direct negotiations, they have thirty days to do so. If an agreement is not reached in that time, it appears that the dispute may not begin to see any kind of resolve until at least December of next year.
Despite the official 30-day pause, either side is free to resume the proceedings at any time and the proceedings will automatically resume on January 23 if there is no further word from the two parties. Should a settlement not be reached, the dispute appears to be set to drag on for some time, with initial pretrial disclosures set to begin in March, main trial briefs beginning in October, and a potential request for an oral hearing not coming until December 2021.
Prepear has said that, despite the dispute costing them thousands and needing to lay at least one employee off, they plan to continue the fight to protect small businesses.
Prepear says they "feel a moral obligation to take a stand against Apple's aggressive legal action against small businesses and fight for the right to keep our logo. We are defending ourselves against Apple not only to keep our logo, but to send a message to big tech companies that bullying small businesses has consequences."