A year ago The Notebook Company, a Pretoria-based retailer of notebooks and accessories –which mainly trades online under the names Notebook.co.za and Laptop.co.za – was told to remove the Apple Logo from its websites. The company duly adhered to this demand and had it replaced with the word “Apple”.
However, it has now received yet another demand from Apple, via Apple’s attorneys Adams and Adams, to transfer a number of websites, including: iPad.co.za, iPad2.co.za, iPad5.co.za, iPad6.co.za, iPad7.co.za, iPad8.co.za and iPad9.co.za. The demand also calls for the transfer of the AppleLaptop.co.za and MacLaptop.co.za websites.
Said Christopher Riley, managing director of The Notebook Company: “We use the AppleLaptop.co.za for commercial gain and we will be asking Apple if it is acceptable to them that we re-market AppleLaptop.co.za under Apple.Laptop.co.za and Laptop.co.za/Apple.
“We also use MacLaptop.co.za for commercial gain and, again, we will also be asking Apple if it is acceptable to them that we re-market MacLaptop.co.za under Mac.Laptop.co.za and Laptop.co.za/Mac.
“Additionally”, said Riley with regards to iPad.co.za – iPad.co.za and iPad (values).co.za, these have been created as a blog for iPad.co.za users – and updates them with the latest news in relation to iPads.
“I understand that the iPad name is a trademark, which I have no rights over. But a site like www.iPad.co.za also lends value to Apple itself, and to the iPad community. We even offer free [email protected] email addresses from it.
“Most clients,” Riley continued, “get confused with all the different models of iPads – and in the blogs it gets explained quite well. This is an open, public blog.”
Riley said it is “ironic” that the domain name www.iPad.com has been standing “vacant” for years.”It seems odd that Apple has done nothing to secure it – and to add value to its clients, via it.”
“What is also amazing to me is that I am being taken on for iPad usage and using trademarks in domain registrations, but iPadPorn.com has been happily humping along for quite some time….even though Apple has voiced publically that it is very much against Porn on their products…”
Commenting further, Riley said it seems that double standards are being applied.”I am feeling very targeted. See for yourself – the amount of websites that incorporate the words Apple, Mac and iPad.
“Is this actually Apple Inc. applying this pressure on The Notebook Company? Or is it really Core South Africa –the official local distributor for Apple Inc.?” Riley asked.