Jun 29, 2020

Apple files intellectual property action against Stassen Exports

World-renowned US tech giant Apple Inc. has filed an intellectual property action in the Commercial High Court of Colombo by way of Plaint last week against Stassen Exports Ltd., in line with a strong stance taken in protecting their intellectual property rights worldwide.

The Plaintiff, Apple Inc., set out in its Plaint that, in the backdrop where ‘Apple’ is one of the most well-known and valuable international brands and the ‘Apple’ device mark of the Plaintiff, consisting of an apple with a leaf slanting to the right and a distinctive bite taken out of the right-hand side, is one of the most famous and widely recognised marks of all time,  the Defendant Stassen Exports had dishonestly applied for and obtained registration of a mark unlawfully/unfairly resembling the said ‘Apple’ device mark of the Plaintiff.

Co-founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and incorporated in 1977, Apple Inc. is a global leader and innovator in mobile communication and media devices, personal computers and related software, services, accessories, networking solutions and third-party digital content and applications, being the company behind internationally-acclaimed products, services and applications such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, iCloud, Apple Pay, iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, Apple Books and much more.  

It is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world by market capitalisation and one of the highest valued corporate entities of all time, becoming the first publicly traded company in the US to be valued at over $ 1 trillion in August 2018.

The Plaintiff pleaded that the Defendant’s mark ought to be nullified under Section 134 of the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 as well as on the grounds of the registration amounting to an act contrary to honest trade practices in contravention of Chapter XXXII of the Intellectual Property Act.

The Defendant appeared in court on 17 June, the summons returnable date, and High Court Judge M. Ahsan R. Marikkar fixed 19 August as the date for the Defendant to file its answer.

Apple Inc., the Plaintiff, was represented in Court by Dr. Harsha Cabral President’s Counsel, who appeared with Nishan Premathiratne and Migara Cabral, on the instructions of Juanita Desiree Perera.

The Defendant Stassen Exports was represented by Nihal Fernando President’s Counsel, with Harshula Seneviratne, on the instructions of Upendra Gunasekara.


(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by ft.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)