TeAM files opposition against Apple’s ‘Startup’ trademark move

  • Grounds for opposition filed at MyIPO on Sept 17, ahead of the Oct 8 deadline
  • Upon receiving notice, Apple will have two months to file its counter-statement

TeAM files opposition against Apple’s ‘Startup’ trademark moveTHE Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM) has officially filed its notice of opposition against US technology giant Apple Inc’s move to register the word ‘Startup’ as a trademark in Malaysia.
 
TeAM filed its grounds for opposition at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) on Sept 17, ahead of the Oct 8 deadline, through law firm Shearn Delamore & Co.
 
On Aug 30, Digital News Asia (DNA) broke the story that Apple, via its Kuala Lumpur-based legal representative Wong & Partners, had filed applications to register the word ‘Startup’ as a trademark with MyIPO, under four different classes.

MyIPO had first refused Apple’s application on the grounds that the ‘Startup’ mark is not an invented word, amongst other reasons, but Apple had successfully appealed the decision.
 
TeAM filed its opposition against Apple’s application for Classes 37, 41 and 42, which were the three classes published on the Government Gazette after Apple’s appeal. The fourth, Class 35, which covers retails services, has yet to be published.
 
TeAM files opposition against Apple’s ‘Startup’ trademark move“Once the mark is published [for Class 35], we will file the Grounds of Opposition with the Registry [at MyIPO] for that class as well,” said Dr V. Sivapalan (pic), director of the TeAM Policy Institute (TeAM-PI) and also one of the original founders of the entrepreneurs’ association.
 
“TeAM, as the organisation representing technopreneurs and especially the startup community, needs to ensure that the interests of our members are protected. The word 'Startup’ has been used extensively by our community for more than 13 years and many organisations continue to use the word in activities, programmes, websites, domain names and in their daily business.
 
“Any restriction on the word due to a trademark granted to Apple or any other party will greatly impact the community and impair the ability of the community to conduct its regular business and activities.
 
“As such we need to ensure that the word is freely available for ordinary use by the community without restriction to further its business activities and the community's needs,” he told told DNA.
 
In early September, TeAM had called on its members and the startup community to provide it with evidence that could support its case.
   
According to Sivapalan, upon receipt of TeAM’s Grounds of Opposition, Apple will have two months to file its counter-statement with MyIPO.
 
“If required then, we will also file all our evidence in support of our opposition,” he said. “MyIPO has the final say. In the event they accept our objections and reject the application by Apple, then Apple will of course have recourse to the courts.”
 
TeAM filed its opposition against these three classes:
 
Class 37: Maintenance, installation and repair of computer hardware, computer peripherals and consumer electronic devices; consulting services in the field of maintenance of computer hardware, computer peripherals, and consumer electronic devices.
Click here to view/download the application [PDF]
 
Class 41: Educational services, including conducting classes, workshops, conferences and seminars in the field of computers, computer software, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and consumer electronic devices and computer-related services; providing information in the field of education.
Click here to view/download the application [PDF]
 
Class 42: Design and development of computer hardware and software; technical support services, namely, troubleshooting of computer hardware and software problems; installation, maintenance and updating of computer software; technological consultancy services in the field of computers, computer software and consumer electronics; computer diagnostic services; computer data recovery.
Click here to view/download the application [PDF]

The fourth, which has not been gazetted yet, is:
 
Class 35: Retail store services, including retail store services featuring computers, computer software, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and consumer electronic devices, and demonstration of products relating thereto.
Click here to view/download the application [PDF]

Related Stories:
 
Apple moves to trademark the term ‘startup’ in Malaysia

 
TeAM to take on Apple in trademark issue, calls for evidence
 
Choosing a good trademark for your startup
 
Claiming proprietary rights for new software
 

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