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Forget Samsung, Apple now suing Polish grocery store for infringement

Apple and Fresh24 logosLess than a month after being awarded more than a billion dollars by a US court at the conclusion of its US patent infringement trial with rival tech giant Samsung, Apple lawyers have now turned their attention to a Polish online grocery store. Yes, you read it right – a Polish grocery store.

Before you scratch a large hole in your head wondering what on earth an online grocery store in Poland has to do with a company like Apple, keep in mind that it’s not just infringements relating to the design and technology of its mobile devices that Apple is concerned with.

According to a Reuters report, the grocery store is in a pickle on two fronts – first, its name and web address, a.pl (pl is the domain extension for Poland), sounds too similar to the name of the Cupertino company, so say Apple lawyers. Second, a logo (shown above) used by another online store, owned by a.pl, is said to too closely resemble Apple’s logo.

Speaking to Reuters about Apple’s trademark-infringement filing, Adam Taukert, a spokesperson for the Polish patent office, said, “[The] Apple brand is widely recognized and the company says that a.pl, by using the name that sounds similar, is using Apple’s reputation.”

In other words, the iPhone maker is concerned that the online grocery store is trading off Apple’s famous name and image, or even possibly attracting customers to its website who, thinking they were going to buy a 32GB iPad, end up purchasing a variety of fresh fruit and veg. Or something like that.

A.pl’s chief executive called the accusation of infringement “ludicrous.” A date for an official hearing has not yet been set.

What do you think? Has Apple’s recent victory against Samsung gone to its head? Does this smack of a company for whom litigation is the answer to everything? Or is it merely seeking to protect its reputation and prevent confusion among consumers?

[Image via Business Tech]