Apple is seeking to halt the distribution of an action-comedy film titled "Apple-Man," fearing consumers may believe the film is associated with the Cupertino-based tech giant.
In 2020, Ukrainian film director Vasyl Moskalenko wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for his indie action-comedy movie, "Apple Man." The film centers around a superhero who has the power to levitate apples — the fruit.
Now, as the film enters post-production, Apple has begun the process of shutting down the world's first healthy lifestyle superhero film before it ever reaches consumers.
According to the film's creator, Apple has filed a 467-page lawsuit against him, stating that consumers may believe "Apple Man" is "associated with, or approved, endorsed, or provided by Apple."
Moskalenko notes that his movie has been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Apple is now attempting to have the trademark registration application denied.
"If my registration would be denied, there are no guarantees that Apple wouldn't demand to delete my film after its release," Moskalenko told iPhone in Canada.
"It actually looks like a trademark bullying," added Moskalenko. "I still hope this situation is just a misunderstanding. I am open to negotiations and hope we can resolve this dispute."
Apple has a history of stepping in when it believes its trademarks are being infringed upon. For example, in 2017, Apple sued Swiss watch conglomerate Swatch for emblazoning "Tick different" on specific watch models, a phrase Apple claimed is a play on its 1990s "Think Different" ad campaign.