After Apple used the design of the Swiss Railway Clock for the clock application in iOS 6, it was sued by the Railway for trademark infringement. Apple later settled, paying the Swiss Railway a $25 million licensing fee.
Today it was reported that yet another Railway is suing Apple for trademark infringement. The Russian Railways filed a trademark lawsuit against Apple, requesting 2 million roubles or $65,000.
According to the public statement released by the Russian Railways (abbreviated RZD), the issue pertains to its RZD registered trademark, certificate number 341333. The statement mentions only that the design was used in “online Apple Store” pictures.
It does not appear that Apple itself is using the logo, which is not particularly aesthetically appealing, as it consists simply of a text-based logo. Instead, it seems that the RZD is suing over a third party app that uses the logo in the App Store.
A search for “Russian Railways” reveals a Railway tarif app from Alexey Sirotkin, which uses the RZD logo. This app says that it gives information on how to calculate the cost of shipping cargo with the Russian Railways.
According to TechCrunch, Apple faced a similar issue in 2009, when it was sued by Cartier for third party apps that used the logo without permission.
Apple solved the issue by pulling those apps from the App Store, and it’s likely that the Cupertino-based company will use the same tactic in this instance. Apps using the RZD logo will be probably removed from the App Store, which will end the problem.