The Fruit Union Suisse is 111 years old. For most of its history, it has had as its symbol a red apple with a white cross—the Swiss national flag superimposed on one of its most common fruits. But the group, the oldest and largest fruit farmer’s organization in Switzerland, worries it might have to change its logo, because Apple, the tech giant, is trying to gain intellectual property rights over depictions of apples, the fruit.
A decision by the Swiss court will not be known for months, possibly years. For the Swiss apple growers, “millions” are at stake if they have to rebrand following a decision. “We’re not looking to compete with Apple; we have no intention of going into the same field as them,” Mariéthoz says, adding that one of the biggest gripes the 8,000-odd apple farmers he represents had with the attempted fruit grab was that, “you know, Apple didn’t invent apples … We have been around for 111 years. And I think apples have been around for a few thousand more.”