For the first time, Apple Computer of Cupertino, California, is licensing its trademark. And the first company to take a bite is toy manufacturer Toy Biz of New York.
While the full product lineup is undecided, Toy Biz will design electronic learning aids with the name Apple for Kids, targeted at children two to six. The toys will bear the Apple logo, but not its technology.
Michael Stone, co-chairman of The Beanstalk Group of New York, Apple’s licensing agency for the past year and a half, says Apple could benefit significantly from corporate brand licensing. ‘It’s a terrific way to further enhance the trademark,’ he says, as well as to reach new customers, protect the trademark and generate additional revenue.
Apple has been looking to enter corporate brand licensing for nearly a year. And the company has talks under way for a line of art supplies for professionals, hobbyists and kids and home-office materials.
The Apple for Kids line should be ready to show by fall, but no date has been set to begin shipping in the U.S. and Canada.
Despite the negative media coverage Apple received over the last two months, notes Stone, none of the negotiations Apple was holding with potential licensees slowed down during that time. ‘That says a lot about the strength of the Apple trademark.’