The Italian Clothing Brand Steve Jobs Has Nothing to Do With Apple’s Steve Jobs. And It’s Totally Legal
We need an update to Wikipedia’s “Steve Jobs (disambiguation)” page.
An Italian company started by the brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato has won the right to use the tech icon’s name and a heavily derivative Apple-style logo, The Verge reports. The European Union Intellectual Property Office decision came in 2014, but the Barbato brothers’ claim over the brand was not settled until this year.
The brothers decided to use Steve Jobs’s name in 2012 when they were starting a clothing company and noticed that Apple had never trademarked his name. The logo they designed is the letter “J” topped by and Apple-style leaf with a semi-circular cut-out on one side that looks remarkably like the bite out of the Apple apple.
Apple’s lawsuit was based on the similarity of the logos. The court’s decision was based on a fairly surreal question: is the letter “J” edible? They said no, and therefore decided the logo was not a rip-off of Apple’s.
Creating clothing companies that pay tribute to real people and things while having nothing to do with them seems to be something of a national pastime in Italy. It’s also the home of a clothing company called Franklin & Marshall, which, of course, is also a real college in Pennsylvania.
For now, the Italian Steve Jobs is only planning to produce clothing and accessories, but the brothers have indicated that their eventual plan is to release electronics. No word yet if “i” or “Mac” will be part of the name.