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Apple attempt to trademark Music app icon trumped by older MySpace property

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week denied Apple protection of its venerable orange Music app icon seen in iOS, saying consumers may confuse the image with a similar design owned by MySpace.

Music Icon Trademark
Apple's icon (left) was denied protection because of the existing MySpace design (right). | Source: USPTO


According to GigaOm, the TTAB upheld a trademark examiner's previous decision that Apple's mark was too similar to a design granted to music service called iLike in 2008. The company was purchased by MySpace and ultimately shut down in 2009.

In its appeal, first lodged one year ago, Apple argued that the icon has never been confused with the MySpace-owned design, saying the trademark was weak because a total of eight other companies were granted protection for similar art containing musical notes. The TTAB didn't find the argument convincing, however, and sided with the initial decision to deny Apple protection.

From the TTAB's decision:

The differences in the details of the respective depictions of the double musical notes and their background designs do not suffice to distinguish the marks in terms of their overall commercial impressions.



Apple's "double musical note," or more accurately two eighth notes connected with a beam, design was first seen in the iTunes icon when the service first rolled out in 2001 and slowly morphed into the simplified icon seen in the company's newest iOS versions. The company can appeal the decision again with a federal district court, however it is unclear whether such action will be taken.

post #2 of 42
If Apple doesn't get this overturned, my guess is that their next move is to pay off MySpace to buy their trademark. It does seem pretty odd, though. The two logos don't look anything alike.
post #3 of 42
Oh Well...
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post #4 of 42

Who in the hell uses MySpace anymore? That brand is worthless today, and Apple should offer them $10.00 for the trademark. That's 10 dollars more than it's worth.

 

I'm not on MySpace or Facebook, but I wouldn't mind if Facebook eventually follows in MySpace's footsteps.

post #5 of 42

Doesn't look good for Samsung. If Apple gets denied because they look too similar, then what about all the icons Samsung copied off Apple (which have more in common with Apple's icons than Apple's has with the MySpace one)?

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post #6 of 42
So Apple will change it and make it purple.
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post #7 of 42
To be fair, MySpace is preparing to relaunch in a much more simplified, clean interface. Major investor Justin Timberlake is preparing to make the service a way for artists, entertainers, actors, etc. to connect with their fans, ala Twitter. In fact, the new MySpace won't rely on its own database of members, but will allow current Facebook and Twitter members to log in via their standing accounts. This is HUGE. With users beginning to turn away from Facebook because of ads and distractions, a new, clean MySpace may be just what consumers need.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Who in the hell uses MySpace anymore? That brand is worthless today, and Apple should offer them $10.00 for the trademark. That's 10 dollars more than it's worth.

 

I'm not on MySpace or Facebook, but I wouldn't mind if Facebook eventually follows in MySpace's footsteps.

I would, Facebook is very useful and important to just go away. It truly is a social network done right.

Obviously most people are stupid, so they use Facebook on a stupid or meaningless way, just like with phones.

post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

The two logos don't look anything alike.

They each use a two eighth notes beamed together and use an orange background. There are plenty of other notes and colors to use. Even if it's coincidental, it MySpace trademarked that logo appropriately then I'd think Apple would be in violation.

Now I think the double eighth note might predate MySpace by several years with iTunes back on System 9, but I'd have to check to be sure. But why orange when they split off iTunes Music and Videos? Overall don't care about the color but I can't say I like it.

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post #10 of 42
I'd be happier if Apple changed the icon for something a little more refined and sophisticated.

Of all the icons on your iOS device, which one looks the most like it was designed by the Microsoft department responsible for the colour schemes of Windows XP and Windows 8?

This one.
Edited by GTR - 9/26/12 at 3:44am
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post #11 of 42

It's a generic icon, why do they need protection?

 

Myspace won't sue if there are 8 other similar icons in the near vicinity, so who cares?  They don't have any significant case even if they're weird enough to try, and a change in colour is an easy get out for Apple.

 

Bad news day.

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post #12 of 42
Why don't they just alter their iTunes circle logo and use a square version of that in iOS?
post #13 of 42
Justin Timberlake took his role as Napster guy too seriously.
post #14 of 42

Apple has a more serious issue to worry about than the icon of the music app. They need to fix the music app itself, because some key features have been removed and it is now worse than it was before.

 

I can't delete an individual song anymore? That's devolution, not evolution. So, if I want to get rid of something, I have to delete the entire library? Wow, what a great solution.

 

Music no longer downloads, but defaults to streaming? How about a choice Apple? What if I need to download a song instead of streaming it? There are annoying workarounds to this issue, but it was much simpler before. I shouldn't have to create a freaking playlist, just to download one song. I want to be able to press ONE button, just like it was before.

 

I don't like when companies change software just for the sake of changing it, especially when key features are removed and the new version is much worse.


Edited by Apple ][ - 9/25/12 at 4:43pm
post #15 of 42

"The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, saying consumers may confuse the image with a similar design owned by MySpace."

 

Wasn't that a similar premise Apple made to the following businesses and their apple logos?

 

'What's good for the goose...'

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8858333/Apple-takes-on-German-cafe-over-logo.html

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/05/apple-sues-woolworths-ove_n_309450.html

 

http://www.webpronews.com/apple-sues-online-grocery-store-over-its-logo-2012-09

 

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111022/01124516464/apple-continues-to-insist-only-it-can-use-apple-logo-threatens-small-german-cafe.shtml

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post #16 of 42
Apple just needs to redesign iOS in a minimalist style, Microsoft took it way too far, but minimalism just looks cleaner, and more organized, and less "Everything is fighting for your attention." Just look at the new Chrome icon to see minimalism done right.
post #17 of 42
Apple just needs to redesign iOS in a minimalist style, Microsoft took it way too far, but minimalism just looks cleaner, and more organized, and less "Everything is fighting for your attention." Just look at the new Chrome icon to see minimalism done right.

But, for some retarded reason, Apple doesn't believe in Minimal ANYTHING. just look at iBooks, and notestand, Music and Video, and Apple's Podcasts and iTunes (mobile). it's just ridiclous, Apple we got an iPhone so we could consolidate several devices into a single device, stop doing the opposite when it comes to apps.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

To be fair, MySpace is preparing to relaunch in a much more simplified, clean interface. Major investor Justin Timberlake is preparing to make the service a way for artists, entertainers, actors, etc. to connect with their fans, ala Twitter. In fact, the new MySpace won't rely on its own database of members, but will allow current Facebook and Twitter members to log in via their standing accounts. This is HUGE. With users beginning to turn away from Facebook because of ads and distractions, a new, clean MySpace may be just what consumers need.

 

Well, maybe so, but that really sounds more like some rich guy wasting his money.  It's something akin to Saturday Night Live's "Scotch Tape Boutique" skit.  No matter how you present it, all of these Social Network solutions are just microscopic variations on a theme.

 

Sorry, can't find an actual video for the SNL skit, but the premise is a store that sells only Scotch Tape, yet the sales people take great joy in attempting to point out the differences between Scotch tape sizes, quantities and so on to potential customers....   http://snltranscripts.jt.org/78/78bscotch.phtml

post #19 of 42

So just buy MySpace...

It's like 200 mil.

Turn it into iSpace and let it be the next Ping (hahaha...)

 

 


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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/152892/apple-attempt-to-trademark-music-app-icon-trumped-by-older-myspace-property#post_2198388"]Who in the hell uses MySpace anymore? That brand is worthless today, and Apple should offer them $10.00 for the trademark. That's 10 dollars more than it's worth.

I'm not on MySpace or Facebook, but I wouldn't mind if Facebook eventually follows in MySpace's footsteps.

MySpace is relaunching soon, with an amazing interface.
https://new.myspace.com/
post #21 of 42
No chance - the left immediately looked like an iOS app icon to me - even though the resolution of that particular image seems to be a bit low - perhaps an older version - while the right looked to me like something from the Disney Channel.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/152892/apple-attempt-to-trademark-music-app-icon-trumped-by-older-myspace-property#post_2198388"]Who in the hell uses MySpace anymore? That brand is worthless today, and Apple should offer them $10.00 for the trademark. That's 10 dollars more than it's worth.

I'm not on MySpace or Facebook, but I wouldn't mind if Facebook eventually follows in MySpace's footsteps.

Into obscurity or allowing people to pimp out their pages with glittery crap?
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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Who in the hell uses MySpace anymore? That brand is worthless today, and Apple should offer them $10.00 for the trademark. That's 10 dollars more than it's worth.

 

So by your logic the mark is only worth $10 to Apple too then right? Good going.

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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

If Apple doesn't get this overturned, my guess is that their next move is to pay off MySpace to buy their trademark. It does seem pretty odd, though. The two logos don't look anything alike.

Are you joking? Those two icons don't look any different than a Samsung and Apple phone. Orange with a music note; Same degree of similarity IMHO.

post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

"The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, saying consumers may confuse the image with a similar design owned by MySpace."

Wasn't that a similar premise Apple made to the following businesses and their apple logos?

'What's good for the goose...'

I was unaware that the US Trademark Board had the ability of trademark control over companies that are not based/operating in the US?
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

I was unaware that the US Trademark Board had the ability of trademark control over companies that are not based/operating in the US?

They have control over trademarks that are registered in the US and products that are sold in the US.

So what is confusing you?
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They have control over trademarks that are registered in the US and products that are sold in the US.
So what is confusing you?

Your ability to read for starters.

I replied to "Rot'nApple", who posted to four trademark articles that all referenced companies that operate outside the US, and wanted a similar thing to happen with them, and since they operate outside the US, how can the US trademark organisation provide a similar result when they have no control over them? So what is confusing you?
post #28 of 42
Huh, MySpace still exist?
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

So just buy MySpace...
It's like 200 mil.
Turn it into iSpace and let it be the next Ping (hahaha...)
Ouch! Too soon! Too soon!

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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


Your ability to read for starters.
I replied to "Rot'nApple", who posted to four trademark articles that all referenced companies that operate outside the US, and wanted a similar thing to happen with them, and since they operate outside the US, how can the US trademark organisation provide a similar result when they have no control over them? So what is confusing you?

 

I really wouldn't comment on anyone else's ability to read when yours isn't looking so sharp either. The OP was pointing out the BS hypocrisy that exists in these forums. The fact that it's okay for Apple to do something but if another company turns around and does the same thing it's wrong, evil, etc. Whether or not those trademark cases are inside the US or not is completely beside the point.

post #31 of 42

yeah, i'll confuse it. what the hell is 'myspace' anyway? simple fix. 

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I really wouldn't comment on anyone else's ability to read when yours isn't looking so sharp either. The OP was pointing out the BS hypocrisy that exists in these forums. The fact that it's okay for Apple to do something but if another company turns around and does the same thing it's wrong, evil, etc. Whether or not those trademark cases are inside the US or not is completely beside the point.

Actually since different countries have different laws it is very much the point, you cannot demand a similar result for anything when you are involving different justice systems, to even think so is rather naive.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They each use a two eighth notes beamed together and use an orange background. There are plenty of other notes and colors to use. Even if it's coincidental, it MySpace trademarked that logo appropriately then I'd think Apple would be in violation.
Now I think the double eighth note might predate MySpace by several years with iTunes back on System 9, but I'd have to check to be sure. But why orange when they split off iTunes Music and Videos? Overall don't care about the color but I can't say I like it.

 

They could make it a pair of dotted quarter notes beamed together and that would be different :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple has a more serious issue to worry about than the icon of the music app. They need to fix the music app itself, because some key features have been removed and it is now worse than it was before.

 

I can't delete an individual song anymore? That's devolution, not evolution. So, if I want to get rid of something, I have to delete the entire library? Wow, what a great solution.

 

WTF are you talking about? I delete individual songs all the time.  You make no sense here.

post #34 of 42

Good.  Let's hope they scrap this awful icon.  Everytime I see it it makes me want to vomit, they should really fire the intern that designed it.  It's nothing like Apple's other icons and doesn't fit at all.  Any child could have made this - select "clouds" texture, select awful orange colour.  Add note.  It looks completely unfinished.  Awful.

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

If Apple doesn't get this overturned, my guess is that their next move is to pay off MySpace to buy their trademark. It does seem pretty odd, though. The two logos don't look anything alike.

 

They look more than enough alike to cause confusion. Apple will simply need to change this.

post #36 of 42
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post
Good.  Let's hope they scrap this awful icon.  Everytime I see it it makes me want to vomit, they should really fire the intern that designed it.  It's nothing like Apple's other icons and doesn't fit at all.  Any child could have made this - select "clouds" texture, select awful orange colour.  Add note.  It looks completely unfinished.  Awful.

 

So a bunch of hate talk about how generically "bad" something is, filled with assumptions based on no information whatsoever passed off as objective fact, and offering no means of improvement himself. 


Standard troll post, yep.

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post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

WTF are you talking about? I delete individual songs all the time.  You make no sense here.

 

Before, I would just swipe to the right and a delete button showed up next to the song which you could press if you wanted to delete a song.

 

Under iO6 in the music app, nothing happens when I swipe to the right next to a song.

 

So if you're still able to delete a song like you claim, then I'm curious as to how you do it?

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They each use a two eighth notes beamed together and use an orange background. There are plenty of other notes and colors to use. Even if it's coincidental, it MySpace trademarked that logo appropriately then I'd think Apple would be in violation.
Now I think the double eighth note might predate MySpace by several years with iTunes back on System 9, but I'd have to check to be sure. But why orange when they split off iTunes Music and Videos? Overall don't care about the color but I can't say I like it.

 

Apple would not be "in violation."  They simply had their trademark app denied because it was deemed substantially similar to the MySpace icon.  I happen to disagree on that point, but that's what was decided.  Apple is free to keep using the icon as long as MySpace doesn't try to sue them for infringement.  Speaking of which, they'd have a much higher burden to carry there.  They'd have to prove that consumers could confuse the Apple mark with MySpace's/iLike's brand, and show financial damages as a result.  Good luck with that.  

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post #39 of 42

Oh ...the irony.
 

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post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

WTF are you talking about? I delete individual songs all the time.  You make no sense here.

 

I should also point out that I subscribe to iTunes Match.

 

iOS6 is a massive downgrade for iTunes Match users. If they don't make it right, then I obviously won't bother to subscribe next year.

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