When is an apple simply an apple? Never, says Apple

Apple irks fanboys, third parties alike with iPhone 5 Lightning dock and threats of lawsuits against anyone with apple-oriented logo

Even though Steve Jobs is no longer with us (and possibly hovering over Silicon Valley in a glass-encased heaven, if Buddhist monk Phra Chaibul Dhammajayo is correct), it's nice to know some things at Apple never change.

Take this week's iPhone 5 announcement, for example. The thing that has caused a lot of fanboys' boxers to bunch is the new 8-pin Lightning connector, which immediately makes obsolete hundreds of millions of iDocks and other devices designed for the old 30-pin connector. Of course, Apple is happy to sell you an adapter for the old connectors for $30 to $40-- or roughly the same cost as a lot of those old iDocks.

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In an era where nearly every smartphone maker is standardizing on MicroUSB (about friggin' time, too), Apple had to go its own way. That's just how it rolls. Don't like it? There's sure to be a Samsung Galaxy model that looks and acts just like the new iPhone -- at least, until Apple obtains an injunction against it.

When is an apple simply an apple? Never, says Apple

Now from Eastern Europe comes news that Apple is suing a company named A.PL Internet, which looks to be the Polish answer to Webvan or Peapod. Why would an online grocer 5,874 miles from Cupertino get under Apple's skin?

According to The Next Web, it could be the store's URL: a.pl. Or it could be the logo for A.PL's sister site, Fresh24.pl, which is -- wait for it -- an apple.

Clearly Apple is concerned about brand confusion. You wouldn't want people shopping for an iPad to order 15 pounds of kielbasa by mistake. You don't want somebody looking for one of those nifty new iPods to have to settle for an iPierogi instead.

When is an apple simply an apple? Never, says Apple

These kinds of suits are par for the course for the Cupertino crew. In October 2009, Apple sued the Woolworths department store chain after it unveiled a stylized "w" in the shape of an apple peel. In April 2008, it complained when the city of New York -- otherwise known as the Big Apple -- deployed a logo for its GreeNYC ecology campaign that looked vaguely apple-ish, though it also resembled an infinity sign that's happy to see you. Apple has also taken legal action against the Victoria School of Business and Technology, a music promoter named Poison Apple, and an adults-only video service in Australia -- all for the crime of employing a logo containing the forbidden fruit.

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