Apple iPhone vs driPhone Brand Trademark

Quite often we hear how Apple will make a move against some company for possible infringement against it’s numerous and heavily protected trademarks. Usually I give them a passing look and move on.

I caught another trademark story in TheNextWeb (via Sydney Morning Herald) and this time the story me looking a little deeper. The long and short of it is that a New Zealand company, who have made a range of waterproof iPhone cases called driPhone (their logo on the right), has come under scrutiny by Apple for possible trademark infringement.

I’ll be the very first to state that I am no trademark lawyer, and certainly not a shrewd or calculating businessman, so  whatever drivel you read thus is purely my own opinion based on my experience with logo and brand design rather than some brilliant business style analysis.

What I find astonishing is that Hayden Crowther seems a little miffed, apparently believing that Apple’s complaint holds “little weight“, that Apple has taken this stance and wants to legitimately protect the valuable iPhone brand.

It’s not just the fact that Hayden has actually used the familiar “i”, but it’s that the whole driPhone logo is practically identical to Apple’s iPhone logo. That sort of logo similarity doesn’t happen, and especially in Apple’s case, by accident. One has to make a choice to ride the success of another brand and make that decision to sail ever so close to the trade winds.

In this case the ultra similar typeface used in the driPhone logo along with the “i” is definitely, in my driveling laymen’s opinion, treading on Apple’s precious, is it not?

On the surface, and taking a simplistic look at logo design similarities and common sense application of the branding of accessories for Apple gear, and assuming that most people are aware of how Apple tends to despatch the trademark lawyers at any whiff of trademark infringement, I find this all a little amusing.

Alternatively, giving the benefit-of-the-doubt: this is one big calculated risk at obtaining some controversial coverage and thus drive some healthy early sales of the driPhone before it all, and expectedly, comes crashing down, then with the money made from the initial sales they can put back into rebranding and remanufacturing the dryPhone minus the “i”.

Win—Lose—Win, or something like that.

It’s just that reference to, “little weight“, that gnaws at my sensitive psychological and emotional being. If you are going to call Apple’s bluff out in public you have better be damn sure you really have something meaty to back it all up with. Or just have shit loads of money to play silly sods with.

I would like to finish by saying I really do like these driPhone waterproof cases as they are simply gorgeous. Just a bloody cheeky, or naivé, move on the accused. I will be interested to see how this one unfolds.

Found on TheNextWeb


Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2012/02/07 & Post Updated: 2014/05/09
Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Opinion

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