Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

Summary: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that "Multi-Touch" describes how users operate the device and doesn't deserve a trademark.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple
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Apple's effort to trademark the term "Multi-Touch" in the United States has been denied. MacRumors posted the decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office dated from last week, wherein the governing body denied Apple's application, saying that the term is merely descriptive of how people interact with its products.

"Thus, from the foregoing, we find that 'Multi-Touch' not only identifies the technology, but also describes how a user of the goods operates the device," the filing from the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reads. "Based on the evidence discussed above, as well as other evidence in the record, we agree with the examining attorney that Multi-Touch indeed is highly descriptive of a feature of the identified goods."

The filing goes on to say that the evidence included by Apple in its trademark application focused more on the creation and marketing of iPhone hardware, as opposed to the Multi-Touch moniker.

For more on this story, read Apple denied trademark for 'Multi-Touch' in the U.S on CNET News.

Topics: Hardware, Apple

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54 comments
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  • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

    Shoulda called it iTouch... or better yet: iiiTouch.
    dsf3g
    • I am trying hard not to snicker!

      @dsf3g
      What part of the patent/copyright fiasco is broken again?
      kd5auq
    • You missed 'counterfeit fiasco'

      ACTA's about to pass, having messed up copyright with the DMCA and nearly put the *AAs out of business with that DRM that could never work coupled to ISP immunity that's killing them.

      Having messed up patents with TRIPS - make anything patentable by default and they act surprise that ever patent troll spams the patent office into just passing everything with a rubber stamp. Catastrophic.

      Now they're about to pass ACTA, from the leaks it looks like another anti-democracy anti-competition dogfest.

      So Apple loses a trademark on 'multi-touch', they still managed to get patents on gestures they copied, and stuff they simply buy in from third party suppliers.

      They still managed to get a design patent on the rectangular slate.
      guihombre
  • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

    Or maybe, they could have just called it Touch & sued all mobile-makers who require users to touch the screen.
    mm71
    • If the trademark was denied for multi-touch, it would

      probably have been denied for Touch. Although, you never know. Microsoft was able to get the word Windows trademarked.
      baggins_z
      • Microsoft uses it

        They dont trademark it.

        Apple is the one that tries to trademark common words like mutli touch and App ( short for application).
        JABBER_WOLF
      • @Jabber

        Fact check time. http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/IntellectualProperty/Trademarks/Usage/Windows.aspx
        baggins_z
      • fact check a little more

        @baggins_z

        its always in conjunction with 'operating system' or any other thing discribing its products. the actual word "windows" is not because that would be copyrighting common vernacular. same with apple.
        jahcriado
      • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

        @baggins_z Decision goes to...

        jahcriado!
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • @Jahcriado

        Wrong. <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/IntellectualProperty/Trademarks/EN-US.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/IntellectualProperty/Trademarks/EN-US.aspx</a><br><br>Scroll down the list. Trademarks are listed in alphabetical order. You will find the word Windows is a registered trademark.

        Oh, and go to your local software store and take a look at Windows software box. You'll find the registered trademark is after the word Windows. Windows is the registered trademark. Now, do a google search and find the articles surrounding the controversy that erupted when MS applied for and was granted registered trademark status for the word.
        baggins_z
      • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

        @baggins_z <br>Windows doesn't particularly or specifically describe the type of product, that's why they were allowed the trademark. Now, an actual manufacturer of glass windows couldn't get that trademarked and MS wouldn't be able to trademark "operating system" or "os" or "software". Whether or not you can get a trademark has nothing to do with common vernacular, but whether or not the trademark specifically or particularly describes that product. HTH
        swmace
      • @swmace

        You're talking to the wrong guy. I understand trademarks, their purpose and when and why common words can become trademarked. My comments were directed to the others in this post who thought it was absurd Apple would ever even be granted a trademark for multi-touch and were questioning Apple's morality for even pursuing such.
        baggins_z
      • Only for software, which is logical.

        @baggins_z <br>Just as Ford can trademark "Mustang" for an automobile.<br><br>Microsoft lays no claim to owning "Windows" in reference to the product found in homes, or to any reference beyond software.<br><br>It just indicates that no one else can call their software offering "Windows", just as no other auto manufacturer may call their automobile "the Mustang".

        And Apple did tradmark that word if refernce to consumer products.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • Ultimate Fact Check

        Go look up how Microsoft sued "Lindows".
        ldo17
      • Ultimate Fact Check

        @baggins_z Go look up how Microsoft sued "Lindows".
        ldo17
      • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

        @baggins_z <br><br>Keep in mind that it is "Windows" (with the upper case W), not "windows" (lower case W). One is a proper noun, the other is not.
        PollyProteus
  • RE: Apple loses 'Multi-Touch' trademark bid

    There's no way they can get this patent, Multi-Touch is implemented by the sensor in the display and those companies already have that functionality described in their sensors.
    slickjim
    • It wasn't a patent application; it was a trademark application

      nt
      baggins_z
  • Wow, that is devastating to Apple

    We kept hearing about how all of this was taken care of.
    toddybottom
    • Feel free to explain how not being able to have the

      ?? symbol after the word multi-touch is devastating to Apple. Or were you like Peter Perry and had your brain so locked into "patent" mode that your mind parsed t-r-a-d-e-m-a-r-k as p-a-t-e-n-t
      baggins_z