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Oct 28, 2011

Rejected by Apple Developer Program

In order to spend more time making chocolate, we’ve been creating some technology to make the non-chocolate work easier and faster. For example, we built systems for tracking revenue, inventory, and demand. We realized, though, that there are a bunch of things we’d like to do while we’re mobile (e.g. tracking sales at markets). We applied to join the Apple Developer Program so we could starting trying things out with our actual phones. Unfortunately, I just found out we were rejected:

Thank you for your interest in the Apple Developer Program.

Please know that as the legal entity name (Cocoa Co, LLC ) provided in your enrollment contains an Apple trademark, we are unable to process your request and your enrollment has been withdrawn.

For a list of Apple trademarks, please visit:

Before we’d picked Dandelion Chocolate as our name, we created a placeholder name, Cocoa Co, LLC, to use while we figured out what to call ourselves. It rolled off the tongue and it was a nice play on cocoa vs company but we didn’t really plan on it being public. Once we picked our name, we filed a fictitious business name (aka a “doing business as” or DBA) statement and published it in a newspaper (thanks El Observador!), as required. And then we promptly forgot our first name… until we submitted our application to Apple. They make it clear it has to be your legal entity name (they don’t allow DBA names), so we used ours. Unfortunately, since Apple has a trademark on the word cocoa, they won’t allow us to join since our name contains cocoa.. even though we actually use the stuff?

I responded to Apple saying that it seems silly that a chocolate company isn’t allowed to use the word cocoa in their name, but I’m not holding my breath on getting a positive response back…


  1. Lynn

    I think it is a wonderful name, almost as good as the chocolate itself! Just give those apple cores a bar of your chocolate, and they will change their minds!!!!
    Way to go Cam (and Sandy!!)

  2. Avital Ungar

    Just a funny thought: Did Apple feel the need to trademark every food name and of course every type of apple name too? probably everything from Fuji to Golden Delicious… I wonder how Fuji Film would operates under an Apple owned trademark? This is hilarious, thanks for sharing Cam!



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