"I have a pen
I have an apple
I have a pen
I have pineapple
Pen Pie Pineapple Apple Pen
Pen Pie Pineapple Apple Pen"
*The image and lyrics have been used for reference purposes only and we claim no copyright on either the lyrics or the image.
Did you have a tune in your head while singing the above lyrics? So you do remember this insanely bizarre song titled 'Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen' sung by PIKOTARO (a Japanese Entertainer) that went viral world over!
In 2017, the Japanese Company, Avex Inc. which manages popular entertainers such as PIKOTARO applied for a trademark registration for the mark 'Pen Pineapple Apple Pen' written in alphabets and in Katakana characters (Japanese syllabary) as ' ' for various goods/services in a total of 14 classes at the Japanese Patent Office (JPO). The mark was accepted and published on March 30, 2018. Post which Apple Inc., filed an opposition against the said mark on the ground that the proposed mark may be deemed to be similar to the Apple's popular trademarks, viz., "Apple", "Apple Pay" and "Apple Pencil". The Opponent stated that the proposed mark is likely to cause confusion amongst the public at large and that the proposed mark was intentionally adopted to ride on the goodwill and reputation of the Opponent's company. Additionally the Opponent alleged that the Applicant may use the term 'Apple Pencil' and compose a song inspired by the term.
The JPO ruled in favour of the Applicant, Avex Inc., and held that, barring the slight phonetic similarity, the public will relate the mark to the viral song 'Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen' or 'PPAP' by Pikotaro which was an internet sensation from Japan. The JPO further dismissed the allegation of the Opponent that, "PIKOTARO might compose the song inspired by "APPLE PENCIL" with an intention of free-riding the opponent's goodwill." Thus, concluding that the Applicant mark is not infringing upon Apple's marks.
Compiled by: Adv. Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan
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