Is Woolworths’ Logo Too Similar To Apple’s?

Apple to Woolworths_ Your New Logo Is Too Apple-y

Most of us already know that Apple is famous for it’s aggressive defense of its brand image (or logo).  If they were willing to sue the Victoria School of Business and Technology for infringement, then certainly Austrailia’s Woolworths could have expected the same.  One key may be that Woolworth’s trademark is blanketed to extend to its entire range of products, including technology and electrical items.

Locally, Woolworths used to be a combination drug/convenience store, with a small counter style restaurant inside.  They served up some of the best milk shakes around, and a wicked ice cream sundae.  Today, the company sells a wide variety of products, including electronics.

A Woolworths spokesman put it this way: ”While we can’t rule anything out, we haven’t got any plans (when it comes to computers and gadgetry) at the moment.”

Looking at the example above, is their logo a stylized apple?  Woolworths say’s “no”.  It’s simply a stylized “W” with an “abstract leaf symbol”.  Some have gone as far to suggest that it’s a stylized consumer with outstretched arms, or even an apple being peeled.

I think you’ve got to admit to the similarities between the two logos, and in fact, Woolworths may be the seller of products that are similar to those of Apple’s.

But what do you think? Are the two logos too similar? Is Apple stepping over its bounds, and being too legally aggressive in protecting its brand image?

We’re interested to learn what you think – so please weigh in and comment.

8 Responses to “Is Woolworths’ Logo Too Similar To Apple’s?”

  1. Bryan Bach Says:

    I would definitely say that it looks like an apple, but far from the Apple logo. I don’t see how something this different could be called copyright infringement.

    I think that the real branding question here is, “Do you think Woolworth has chosen a strong logo?”

  2. DM_C Says:

    The leaf on the top is too much. Otherwise, yes, it does look like a “W”

  3. Mike McDowell Says:

    Well, it does look like an apple. I don’t know who Woolworths is fooling saying that it’s only a W with an “abstract leaf symbol.” The fact that they recognize that as a leaf tells me that they know darn well that they were going for an apple (or some other kind of fruit).

    That being said, Apple is ridiculous to believe that they can own any logo that even resembles an apple. Granted, they’ve built up some equity with that logo, but they can’t be miffed by every logo that resembles an apple.

    And to further answer your question about Woolworths choosing a string logo – I don’t know. I don’t get what the fruit/apple imagery is supposed to suggest about Woolworths. To me, it suggests that they’re “green”/renewable/etc. But, that’s certainly never been a set of attributes I’ve contributed to the Woolworth’s brand. Without knowing what kind of branding they’re trying to achieve, I can’t say if that’s a good logo for them or not.

    • Mike McDowell Says:

      …and by “string logo” I, of course, mean “strong logo” : )

      • Larry DeVincenzi Says:

        Ha! You had me thinking on that one Mike. I honestly was searching for “string logo” in Google just to see if it was a term I didn’t understand! Thanks for clarifying…I can reboot my brain now.

  4. Big Fish Creations Says:

    Am I missing something? Why would a W have an accent over it? I would not be surprised if Apple did pursue this.

  5. Foto Face Says:

    Is it possible apple to bring them to the court because of the logo?

    • Larry DeVincenzi Says:

      Thanks for commenting. I think it’s more than possible – they’ve already done it! It will be interesting to see the outcome. Stay tuned – if we learn more about this dispute, we’ll be sure to post an update.

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