The largest corporation on the planet has its eyes, and its lawyers, on a small-time computer troubleshooter in the biggest little town in Australia.
Mullumbimby computer technician Tom Hain, who has run his Mr Macintosh business for around 12 years fixing Apple MacIntoshes and advising users without a hitch, has Apple Inc breathing down his neck over his use of logos and company name.
Lawyers for the global giant last month emailed Mr Hain requesting him to change his business name and stop using the Apple logo.
While Mr Hain says that’s fair enough, and has already removed such logos from his website, he says changing his longstanding business name is a little tougher.
‘I thought it was odd that I couldn’t use Macintosh and recently called them back to ask why not, but they said they had trademarked the name in relation to computers in Australia but in England they can’t because a Macintosh there is a raincoat.
‘More than anything it’s just a hassle and a little unfair, I’m flatout because I’m busy promoting their products, but I’ll soon have to get around to it,’ he told The Echo.
‘Lots of people use their logos.
‘That’s how the mighty Apple Inc treats someone who has campaigned tirelessly for them for over 10 years! I have had the registered business name of Mr Macintosh for that time and I am being politely requested to change my business name and stop using the Apple logo etc in all my dealing because “your current practices are detrimental to Apple”!
‘I regularly get asked if I get a commission because I promote their products so effectively but a big multinational is just that at the end of the day.
‘This month alone, two new Macs were brought in, not even taken out of their boxes with customers asking if I could set them up, the customers typically say “Oh, it would have taken me all day, but you have done it in an hour”.’
The corporation wrote to him through their lawyer after seeing the Mr Macintosh ad in The Echo as well as his website and Facebook pages.
‘Apple appreciates your support and enthusiasm for its products, but we must ask that you change your business name or, preferably, choose a new name that doesn’t incorporate any of Apple’s trademarks including the MACINTOSH mark,’ the email said.
They also requested he amends his business website and Facebook page once he changes his business name ‘to reflect your new business’.
‘We do not believe that you are intentionally infringing Apple’s rights and wishes to resolve this matter amicably. However, your current practices are detrimental to Apple. ‘We do not make this request to disrupt your business, but as the owner of these trade marks, Apple must take steps to protect them.’