Apple files complaint over Ukrainian Indie Film about superhero named 'Apple-Man'

Apple Man
Apple Man (Image credit: Vasyl Moskalenko)

What you need to know

  • A Ukrainian filmmaker is trying to trademark his indie film about a superhero called "Apple-Man".
  • Apple objects and has filed opposition to the move with the U.S. patent office.
  • The company says that consumers are likely to think that the trademark is an extension of Apple's brand.

Apple has filed an objection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over a Ukrainian filmmaker's attempt to trademark his indie film about a superhero named 'Apple-Man'.

THR reports:

Apple in December filed an opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to block Ukrainian director Vasyl Moskalenko's trademark application for his indie project. The world's most valuable company argues that viewers will mistakenly believe Apple-Man is associated with Apple and that the movie will dilute its brand.

Apple reportedly stated in its opposition that "The Apple Marks are so famous and instantly recognizable that the similarities in Applicant's Mark will overshadow any minor differences and cause the ordinary consumer to believe that Applicant is related to, affiliated with, or endorsed by Apple" and that consumers "are likely to assume" the mark is an extension of Apple's own brand.

The film is apparently a satire piece about a superhero who can levitate apples, the project has raised $120,000 in backing on Kickstarter.

It's not like director Vasyl Moskalenko can just pick a different name either, as the film has been shot and was already in post-production when the opposition was filed. Mr. Moskalenko's legal representative said the opposition was "ridiculous" and behaving like a "trademark bully."

Apple-Man's Kickstarter page doesn't really contain any designs or hints that immediately scream trademark infringement, the film's description states:

We created Apple-Man as a very entertaining way to tell people how important and how cool a healthy lifestyle is. We believe this film can save many lives. The film tells a grotesque story of a superhero created by mixing human DNA with the DNA of an apple. Along with his sidekick Cherry Woman, Apple-man fights super-villain Doctor Burgerman to save the universe.

You can see the film's trailer below.

In response to Apple's legal action, Moskalenko created a video response to its objection:

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9