WTF?! It seems that Apple really wants people to think of the Cupertino company whenever they see an image of the fruit - and not just one with the iconic bitemark. The tech giant is trying to trademark images of actual apples around the world.

Wired UK writes that Switzerland's oldest and largest fruit farmer's organization, Fruit Union Suisse, has used a symbol of a red apple against a white cross for most of its 111-year history. But it might be forced to change that logo due to Apple's quest to trademark the fruit.

Apple has been trying to trademark depictions of apples in Switzerland since 2017 when it submitted an application to the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). It wants the IP rights for a realistic, black-and-white depiction of a generic Granny Smith apple.

Apple's request included a list of potential uses - electronic, digital, and audiovisual consumer goods and hardware – but only some were granted as generic images of common goods like apples were considered to be in the public domain.

The company appealed the decision in the spring as it looks to secure the rights for common uses of the apple image, such as audiovisual material meant for television and other transmissions. The case is still proceeding through the courts.

"We have a hard time understanding this, because it's not like they're trying to protect their bitten apple," Fruit Union Suisse director Jimmy Mariéthoz says. "Their objective here is really to own the rights to an actual apple, which, for us, is something that is really almost universal […] that should be free for everyone to use."

Mariéthoz says that there are concerns over the case as nobody knows what type of apple images the iPhone maker will pursue if it believes them to be infringements on its trademarks.

It's not just Switzerland where Apple is making requests for these types of trademarks. World Intellectual Property Organization records show it has tried the same thing in dozens of countries and has found success in Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Armenia.

Apple isn't just focused on trademarking images of its namesake fruit. The company launched a trademark lawsuit in 2020 against tiny app developer and fitness startup Super Healthy Kids over claims the logo used in its Prepear recipe app – a pear - was based on Apple's logo. Prepear eventually changed the image (above), altering the pear leaf slightly to settle the dispute.

Masthead: Suzy Hazelwood