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Italian Brothers Beat Apple in Court, Allowed to Name Company ‘Steve Jobs’

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A pair of brothers in Italy have beat Apple in court, in a legal battle lasting years, to finally be able to name their company “Steve Jobs”, which of course is after the iPhone maker’s late iconic co-founder.

According to La Repubblica Napoli (via The Verge), the brothers in 2012 noticed Steve Jobs’ name was not trademarked by Apple, so they decided to start their own clothing and accessory company named after the co-founder.

I fratelli Barbato

Image via Business Insider

Of course, Apple sued the brothers over the trademark, targeting their logo with a “J” and a bite taken out of it, which resembled Apple’s own logo. An Italian judge ruled the letter “J” isn’t edible like an apple is, so the brothers and their trademark won in court.

The Italian Steve Jobs brand makes a variety of clothing such as jeans, t-shirts and more, with future plans to release electronics, which may involve smartphones, for example.

In an interview with Business Insider Italia, the brothers were asked if they were being “geniuses or clever” (Google Translate). Here’s their answer, translated:

I did not call ourselves cunning in the negative sense of the term. We want to share this brand, we do not want to keep it just for us. It means that if there are companies or individuals with whom it is possible to carry out important projects we will support them with all the pleasure, to put our brand next to their project. We will give space to many minds throughout Italy, especially Naples, to give the possibility to realize a dream, because Steve Jobs has really left a mark in the universe.

Are these brothers being crafty with their company name, or just shamelessly profiting off Apple’s iconic co-founder?

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  • Riley Freeman

    what about his widow, doesnt she have a say in this matter?

  • Disgusting. The logo is clearly a nod to Apple’s with the bite and the leaf, so I feel Apple should have won the court case. On top of that, the logo is ugly, which I think would have Steve rolling in his grave seeing his name so hideously displayed.

    Clearly they’re shamelessly profiting off of the name. The clothing doesn’t appear to have anything to do with Steve Jobs. At least with a company like Tesla, the company is trying to achieve something that feels completely in line with what Nicola Tesla would have wanted. It’s a reverence instead of a ripoff. Steve Jobs would not have wanted this.

  • Kirk

    Seriously. The logo looks horrible anyway so I wouldn’t even buy clothes from these jokers.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I think they are an employment agency for people named Steve, so of course they had to call it “Steve Jobs”. They couldn’t very well call it “Bob Jobs” since the jobs are only for people named Steve.

  • sukisszoze

    They are shamelessly profiting off Steve Jobs. They might get away with it in Italy, not sure they can do the same in the US. I can’t imagine Steve Job’s widow will stand for having her late husband’s name being used like this.

  • It’s Me

    Thought the same. It’s not really apples place to sue over the Jobs name. They certainly were the right party to sue over the logo, but while clearly influenced, it’s also clearly distinct from Apple’a logo. They were never going to win that case.

    Jobs estate is the party that needs to go after these guys. And they would likely win. Lots of case law against using celebrity names to sell your product. But I get the idea the widow tries to avoid such public spectacles.

  • pegger1

    I don’t think you can copyright your personal name. There could be many Steve Jobs out there. If it was just the Steve Jobs name without the similiar logo, there would be no case. It’s the Steve Jobs with the similarity to the Apple logo. Apple would have the better chance fighting it than Steve’s family. While the logo is clearly a ripoff, especially combined with the name. Does Apple hold authority over any logo with a leaf and a curvature? Even when it’s not similar products.

  • Riley Freeman

    i get what you’re saying but they are very clearly basing everything off their love for apple/steve so i dont think they can play the it could be anyone card. Maybe the window doesnt mind though.

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