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Apple loses trademark battle that it probably shouldn’t have started

Apple has lost a trademark battle with Cypriot developer Apella Games. Apple claimed that customers would be confused, possibly mixing the two companies up or thinking that they were linked in some way.

Apple claimed that Apella Games was visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar, according to a report. But the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) disagreed and rejected Apple’s arguments.

With the decision now made, Apple has two months to appeal the case if it sees fit.

The Apella iPhone?

Apella Games registered its name and logo with the EUIPO on March 17, 2021, following the company’s creation in Cyprus a year earlier. Now, local news (opens in new tab) reports that a February 21 2023 decision saw the EUIPO side with the developer, despite Apple’s protestations.

“This tactic of swamping the Applicant with hundreds of pages of incomplete material speaks to Apple’s attempt to intimidate its opponents and block them from entering the market,” said Raevskaya. “The fact that they submitted insufficient material that contained no evidence to substantiate Apple’s claims after failing to meet the deadline, raises questions as to the scope of the opposition.”

The EUIPO said that people wouldn’t be confused by the two companies’ similar names, nor would Apella Games’ Greek warrior logo be confused for an Apple with a bite out of it. Few people will walk into a carrier store and ask for an Apella Games iPhone 14, for example. Apple’s best iPhones don’t have a Greek warrior’s helmet on the back, either. Although they might be even better if they did.

As for Apella Games, it’s apparently getting ready to launch its first game this week. Rite of Titans will be available for download on Steam, not the App Store.

published by Oliver Haslam from iMore

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Cypriot video game company wins trademark battle against Apple

Apple sought to block Apella Games from registering name and logo in the EU

Cyprus-based indie gaming company Apella Games has won a major battle against tech giant Apple Inc., which tried to block the startup from registering its name and logo with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), claiming the mark was visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar to Apple’s.

In a decision issued on February 21, EUIPO rejected the American multinational’s claims that the public could confuse the two marks, including associating Apella Games with the Apple trademark.

“[The] opposition is rejected in its entirety,” the ruling said, before noting that “the opponent bears the costs”.

Founded and headquartered in Cyprus in 2020, video game developer Apella Games filed a trademark application almost two years ago, on March 17, 2021.

The company’s name is the English transliteration of the Greek word Apella, which was the people’s assembly in ancient Sparta. Its logo is round, with the letter ‘A’ in the middle, partly enclosed by an ancient warrior helmet and partly by a meander motif, which is closely associated with ancient Greece.

Apple filed a notice of opposition in June 2021 and was given until the end of November to make its case.

“There is no reason for the Applicant to have chosen to use the Application Mark. There are numerous alternative combinations of words and letters which could have been selected instead, that do not call to mind the Opponent’s APPLE Mark,” Apple said. Its submission, filed after the deadline, consisted of 476 pages mainly of legislation and previous rulings.

“This tactic of swamping the Applicant with hundreds of pages of incomplete material speaks to Apple’s attempt to intimidate its opponents and block them from entering the market,” said Yana Raevskaya, Head of Prospectacy Ltd’s legal department, which handled the case.

“The fact that they submitted insufficient material that contained no evidence to substantiate Apple’s claims after failing to meet the deadline, raises questions as to the scope of the opposition.”

EUIPO rejected Apple’s arguments that Apella’s name and logo were visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar, adding that the public would be able to tell apart the two signs, even if they share some of the letters.

It also rejected as “unfounded”, Apple’s argument that Apella Games would take unfair advantage of its distinctive character and reputation, concluding that it “did not submit any evidence” to that end.

“For these reasons, the Opposition Division does not find it plausible that the relevant consumer, who is considered reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, might believe that the goods and services assumed to be identical come from the same undertaking or economically linked undertakings,” EUIPO said.

Aleksandra Rudis, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apella Games said Apple’s move was unwarranted.

“As if it was not enough having to deal with the disruption caused by the pandemic and the geopolitical instability, we had to fight a tech giant who decided to go after a small indie company without any valid reason,” she said.

On March 17, exactly two years since the studio was founded, Apella Games will be launching a pre-alpha (not feature-complete) test of their first game, Rite of Titans, a Free to Play hero-centric 3v3 action game that combines arcade sports and ability-based competition.

Apple Inc. has two months to appeal the case.

published by Cyprus News

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Prospectacy: Cyprus can emerge as a regional Center of Data and Digital Entrepreneurship

Interview: Vasilis Zertalis – CEO of Prospectacy LTD

In which areas of economic activity does Prospectacy emphasize and what do companies demand from professional service providers in Cyprus?

Prospectacy is a specialist firm that provides high-level advisory services to businesses and individuals from abroad on personal and corporate taxation, transfer of corporate headquarters, real estate and other asset management, as well as a wide range of other corporate matters. We currently employ approximately 40 people from Cyprus and abroad.

Our company’s team of professionals can guide clients who are interested in investing and are looking for advice on how to organize and manage their portfolio, with the aim of having a competitive advantage locally or internationally.

Many companies turn to us asking for our contribution in the search for business housing or housing for their staff, as well as legal guidance for their establishment in Cyprus or for the transfer of their staff to the country and explanation of procedures.

In other words, we focus on facilitating companies that wish to set up headquarters in Cyprus, creating the appropriate environment and conditions.

Attracting foreign investment remains key to the recovery of the Cypriot economy. What could the country do to create further opportunities?

In the highly competitive environment that has been formed internationally due to the successive crises, the attraction of foreign investment remains of key importance for the recovery of the economy and a condition for the creation of a sustainable development model.

It is necessary to continue to place special emphasis on the promotion of Cyprus as an attractive destination for attracting quality investments in various sectors of the economy such as technology, education and research, health, renewable energy sources, financial and professional services, shipping , sports and the cultural industry.

Can Cyprus rise above the competition from other countries in the field of financial services for businesses?

Our country gathers a number of comparative advantages, however there are still some steps to be taken. In particular, it is a condition for the continuation of the upward trend in the international competitive environment to deal with the hoarseness of the bureaucracy. This is an issue that continues to plague businesses and citizens. At the same time, we should work to strengthen economic diplomacy, in conjunction with expanding the network of embassies and consulates that Cyprus has abroad. An important issue is the digital transformation of the state as well as dealing with the long delay in the administration of justice, while the passage of the investment law is also urgent.

What is the role of technology in the service sector? Can Cyprus become a Regional Center for Data and Digital Entrepreneurship?

Technology plays a key role in asset management, but historically its role has been to support internal needs in areas such as portfolio management and accounting. Since 2010, we have witnessed a revolution in the application, flexibility and development of technology in the field. Today, there are more solutions than ever, powered by the ability to analyze big data. From artificial intelligence to robo-advisors, many changes are taking place that affect different areas of the industry, including regulation, privacy, and transparency.

Technology plays a key role in the service sector mainly because it ensures transparency but also saves time. It allows the due diligence process to be carried out immediately regarding the customer, through specialized houses, and the origin of money to be controlled. The technology also offers asset management solutions powered by big data analytics.

One of the greatest benefits of artificial intelligence is its ability to “sift” large amounts of data. What would normally take weeks or even months can now be done in days or even hours. Using the data they collect along with customer information, AI systems can determine where customers’ money can be allocated or which products they should invest in. This allows the manager to offer services tailored to the customer’s needs quickly.

The ability to process large volumes of data with ease allows monitoring of every aspect of work and quick correction of errors and frees managers from repetitive and complex tasks while allowing them to provide specific information based on customer needs.

It is my strong belief that by taking advantage of our country’s geographical and geo-strategic positioning, combined with a series of other steps and correct handling, Cyprus can emerge as a regional center for data and digital entrepreneurship. The most important thing is to prioritize Information and Communications technologies as a priority axis, and to work towards the connection of Cyprus and the implementation of an integrated digital strategy.

How does Prospectacy face the challenges in the new era?

Prospectacy’s goal, like any organization that aims for its sustainable development, is to continue to constantly evolve, grow and respond to the increased needs of its customers and partners. Our effort is to create value through our activity, contributing to building conditions of long-term economic prosperity and, by extension, to supporting the local community.

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Prospectacy is certified as a Great Place to Work®

The services sector continues to “expand” its presence in the Great Place to Work® community. Prospectacy has successfully completed the evaluation process as a Great Place to Work®, with the results of the Trust Index© personnel survey confirming the high level of the company’s work culture.

In a related announcement, the General Manager of Great Place to Work®, Kyriakos Iakovides, said: “We congratulate the success of the Prospectacy team and welcome them to the Great Place to Work® family. Services are a strategic area of ​​development for our country. The establishment of a positive working environment for companies in this sector contribute to our country gaining a significant competitive advantage”.

The CEO of Prospectacy, Vassilis Zertalis, said for his part: “Prospectacy is extremely proud and celebrates this important distinction. First of all, we are grateful to all our staff members, because they have been instrumental in creating an excellent working environment. Our people have been and always will be our greatest asset.

Prospectacy is a small but flexible company, distinguished by the flexibility and efficiency of its employees, as well as their ability to communicate in a number of languages ​​such as Greek, English, Spanish, Russian, Latvian, Romanian and Armenian. Our Company’s multicultural workforce allows us to maximize our problem-solving capabilities and fosters the development of critical thinking, ensuring that the best possible solution is given to each problem.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to all employees at Prospectacy and especially the Operations Manager, Sergey Babayan, for their significant contribution to the promotion of the company as a Great Place to Work®”

It is worth noting that Prospectacy is a specialized company based in Cyprus, which provides consulting services to companies and individuals from abroad, on issues related to individual and corporate taxation, the transfer of corporate headquarters, the management of real estate and other assets and corporate issues. Whether you are considering investing or looking for advice on how to organize and manage your portfolio, Prospectacy’s team of professionals are able to guide you to gain a competitive edge, both locally and internationally.

published by inbusinessnews

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Podcast: Prospectacy brings “permanent tourism” to the island by relocating foreign companies

Vasilis Zertalis – CEO of Prospectacy LTD

Opens up about what’s going on at Prospectacy in the podcast talk.

How did he face the pandemic and how did he manage to turn the crisis into an opportunity!

As Prospectacy said, it promotes “permanent tourism” through the relocation of foreign companies to Cyprus, thereby contributing to the local economy.

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