Apple's history of suing other manufacturers for allegedly stealing its intellectual property is rivaled only by Harlan Ellison's litigious pedigree. Companies subject to Apple's legal wrath have included Apple Corps (the Beatles-founded record label), Cisco Systems, Sector Labs, Woolworths and Amazon. The suits, in the minds of many experts, have been slightly frivolous and ego-driven. In many cases, Apple's attacks have aimed at marketing collateral bearing logos or graphics with likenesses too evocative of the company's iconic trademark -- using the image of an apple, for instance. With the remainder, the problem has involved the appearance of similar offerings such as digital music stores.
"To put it mildly," said marketing expert Gareth Werbefachmann, "Apple seems to fancy itself a technological incarnation of the Old Testament God. It wants anyone daring to taste the fruit of its forbidden knowledge to be subject to banishment from the Eden of the free market."
According to papers filed with the court, Apple plans a bizarre series of suits against seemingly unrelated industries, service providers and materials goods producers that it deems copyright-violating competition.
Some of the targets listed in Apple's request for injunctions -- which, the company claims, pilfered the ideas of Steve Jobs -- are the owners of orchards worldwide, the Internet, the estate of Nikola Tesla, whoever developed the abacus, every girl named Lisa born after 1970, the makers of waterproof British raincoats, and ancient cartographers such as Ptolemy for developing maps in 150 A.D. that today remain more accurate than Apple Maps. Inexplicably, Apple also demanded the court prohibit the operations of homebuilders that employ the use of gates and windows in their designs.
A trial is scheduled for March 2014.
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