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Italians now own Steve Jobs

by on29 December 2017

You toucha our brand we breaka your face

Apple no longer owns the right to Steve Jobs’ name after a landmark trademark dispute in Italy.

La Repubblica Napoli has reported that an Italian clothing company that uses the name "Steve Jobs" as its brand will be able to continue using the moniker after winning a multi-year legal battle.

Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato named their clothing brand "Steve Jobs" in 2012 after learning that Apple had not trademarked his name.

Quite why anyone would want to own clothing with the name of a tax-dodging, convicted monopolist is anyone’s guess, but if Italy didn’t like convicted criminals, Silvia Berlusconi would not have a job.

The pair told Repubblica that they did their market research and noticed that Apple never thought about registering its founder's brand, so they decided to do it.

The Barbatos designed a logo that resembles Apple's own, choosing the letter "J" with a bite taken out of the side. Apple, of course, sued the two brothers for using Jobs' name and a logo that mimics the Apple logo. In 2014, the European Union's Intellectual Property Office ruled in favour of the Barbatos and rejected Apple's trademark opposition.

While the outcome of the legal battle was decided in 2014, Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato have been unable to discuss the case until now, as their claim on the brand was not settled until 2017.

The two told la Repubblica Napoli that Apple went after the logo, something that may have been a mistake. The Intellectual Property Office decided that the "J" logo that appears bitten was not infringing on Apple's designs as a letter is not edible and thus the cutout in the letter cannot be perceived as a bite.

While the Barbatos currently produce bags, t-shirts, jeans, and other clothing and fashion items, they told Business Insider Italia that in the future, they plan to produce electronic devices under the Steve Jobs brand. "We are working on a line of highly innovative electronic devices, projects we have been working on for years", said the two.

The only way they will be faithful to the Jobs name is if they charge an arm and a leg for it.

Last modified on 29 December 2017
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