A digital communications company with a similar name to Apple last week changed its name and paid the IT giant $100,000 compensation.

Apple accused Australian Green Communications – formerly known as Apple Communications – of stealing its business.

Apple ordered the company's CEO Daniel Cheng to change his company's name and pay damages of $100,000 according to news.com.au.

Green Communications is a multi-billion-dollar worldwide computer operation equipped with a 100-strong staff. It sells broadband to small businesses, and has wholesale deals with telco giants Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and WorldCom.

Cheung commented: "It's just ridiculous. My logo was based on the Granny Smith. Their’s is a red apple with a bite out of it and a leaf on top. I sell digital communications, and they sell computer hardware. Where's the connection?

"If there was ever a case of squashing an ant because it was there, this would have to be it. As ludicrous as the situation may be, I have neither the time nor the financial resources to mount a test case.

"The fact that my business is telecommunications and has nothing whatsoever to do with computer manufacturing seems to be irrelevant under the law", Cheung added.

Apple Australia has ordered Mr Cheng to pay the costs of its legal team, but Cheung retorted: "Hell will freeze over before that happens."

Apple Australia said: "The company has owned the global naming rights of the popular fruit since the computer boom of the early 1980s".

Originally from Hong Kong, Cheung started Apple Communications three years ago to challenge mobile-phone company Orange.