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Apple Computer Inc.’s celebration of those who “think different” has endeared it to legions of marginalized nerds and self-described visionaries. But the company apparently would prefer not to be associated with one particularly offbeat group of customer-devotees: Satanists. The Church of Satan put up a Web site (http://www.churchofsatan.com/) a couple of years ago to explain its beliefs. Its Mac-aficionado Webmaster Peter Gilmore included a mock version of Apple’s black-and-white “Think Different” advertisement featuring the church’s founder, the late Anton Szandor LaVey, along with the Apple logo. The site also carried a “Made with Macintosh” Web banner, which the company encourages third parties to post. (On its corporate site, for instance, Apple touts astrologer Susan Miller, whose Astrology Zone Web page carries the banner.) Last year Apple lawyers and outside counsel Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn charged the Satanists with trademark infringement and directed them to remove both the ad parody and the badge. Apple declines to comment. After an exchange of letters, posted in part on the Satanist site, the church recently removed the logo and badge. “This exchange has definitely soured us on some of the taste of Apple,” says Gilmore in a statement on the church site. “It is also amusing to us that this company uses as a corporate logo an apple with a bite taken from it … . We have not forgotten that forbidden fruit, which would impart knowledge of Good and Evil, offered to Eve in that mythical garden by none other than the serpent, an avatar of Satan himself.”

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