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US technology giant Apple has reached an out of court settlement with a tiny German tourist office that wanted to use a logo of the fruit to highlight a cycling path through the region’s famous orchards.
The Rhein-Voreifel (Rhine-Pre-Eife) region to the south-west of Bonn in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia came up with the logo of an apple to highlight a new cycling route through the apple orchards of the area.
However, the logo did not please the company bosses of US technology firm Apple after they found out the region’s tourist board had filed the logo of the cycling route with the German patent office.
Eva Konrath of ‘Rhein-Voreifel Touristik’ said: “At the end of February we received mail from the Apple Corporation in Cupertino, California. In the letter, Apple filed an objection to our logo.”
At first Konrath and her colleagues thought it was a joke, but they soon found out that Apple was deadly serious and threatening a lawsuit.
The tourist office hired their own lawyer and started a mediation procedure with the lawyers of Apple.
Luckily, they were able to reach an out-of-court settlement with the American company in which the tourist office agreed to limit the trademark application and to only use the logo as a sign for the 75-mile-long cycling route.
By adding the note to the German patent office that “the aforementioned services are exclusively related to a bicycle path through the apple cultivation region Rhein-Voreifel”, Apple in return dropped all their judicial steps.
Under the theme of “experiencing the cultural landscape and agriculture”, the cycling route connects all six municipalities in the Rhein-Voreifel region, which is the largest fruit and vegetable growing region in the state.
The cycling tourism project, which is supported by both the state authorities and the European Union, which according to local media put over 576,000 EUR (495,345 GBP) into the route, now has to deal with the extra costs they had to spend on lawyers.