Apple has applied to trademark the word “startup” in Australia.
TMWatch reports that the company submitted an application to IP Australia via lawyers Baker & McKenzie yesterday.
Apple wants to trademark “startup” in the context of retail store services, device repairs, educational services and the design and support of software and hardware.
The word is widely used to describe nascent business ventures, particularly those that involve technology.
Apple’s application, filed yesterday, is essentially a carbon copy of an application it filed on 19 April 2011, also via Baker & McKenzie.
Apple has a longstanding relationship with Baker & KcKenzie globally.
IP Australia documents show that Apple has had a tough time convincing the government agency to grant it a trademark on “startup”.
“The ball’s in Apple’s court to prove that people see the word ‘startup’ and associate it with Apple. They’d need an unbelievable amount of evidence,” said Mark Williams, a patent and trademark attorney at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick.
“I suspect they’re getting nowhere with this [2011 application] and filed again to give themselves more time to collect evidence. It’s probably bought them another 18 months before they’ll have to put up or shut up.”
Apple filed a similar application to trademark “startup” in the US on April 15, 2011.
The US Patent and Trademark Office issued an office action seeking more information from Apple in March this year. Apple has until September 20 to respond.
“I don’t think they’ll get it though [IP Australia’s examination process] – even if they do, it’ll certainly be opposed by somebody,” Williams told Business Insider Australia.
“[A trademark] won’t necessarily stop people from using the word ‘startup’, because someone could just say, ‘I’m not using a trademark; I’m using a word to describe what my company is.'”
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