Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Apple-Man! But not if Apple's lawyers get their way.

Apple Man Poster Copy
Apple Man Poster Copy (Image credit: Vasyl Moskalenko)

What you need to know

  • Apple has opposed the registration of a trademark application for an indie movie called Apple-Man.
  • Apple-Man is nothing to do with Apple or its products.
  • The director of the action-comedy is worried Apple might demand its deletion.

Apple-Man is an indie film about a man who can control Apples but the whole thing is at risk of disappearing if Apple gets its way. That's according to director Vasyl Moskalenko who says Apple has opposed his "Apple-Man" trademark application.

The Kickstarter-backed movie has nothing to do with Apple, its computers, or its phones but that didn't stop Apple from sending Moskalenko a 467-page court filing, according to an iPhone In Canada report.

Here's how the movie describes itself:

Apple-Man is an action comedy film, that pays homage to famous superhero sagas. The main character is a superhero Apple-Man who has a superpower to levitate apples. The film was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, with pledges reaching €101,717 (about US$120,000). The principal photography of Apple-Man was shot in Kyiv, in authentic Ukrainian locations, including Kyiv fortress.

But Apple has initiated trial proceedings over concerns that people might think the movie is "associated with, or approved, endorsed, or provided by Apple," despite there being no mention of it. And Moskalenko is worried that Apple might even demand that the movie be deleted, too.

"My movie is about apples, the fruits," Moskalenko said as he stressed the fact that his movie never mentions or references Apple, the company, or any of its products. "I'll have to spend almost all my Kickstarter money on litigation."The indie movie maker told iPhone in Canada, "if my registration would be denied, there are no guarantees that Apple wouldn't demand to delete my film after its release."

While the trademark has already been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Apple wants that undone.

Moskalenko has written to Apple explaining the situation but it remains to be seen whether the result is the one he has been hoping for. Whatever happens here it's a safe bet that we won't be seeing Apple-MAn on Apple TV+ anytime soon.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.