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Apple seeks trademark on "OS X" without the "Mac"

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Seemingly cementing a move first hinted at during the World Wide Developers Conference, Apple has filed for a trademark for its OS X operating system but without the "Mac" prefix that has accompanied the name since its inception.

The Cupertino-based company initially filed for its trademark in Trinidad and Tobago less than a week after the June 2008 conference, where lobby banners first indicated a split where Apple would distinguish between OS X Leopard, the version of its operating system for traditional computers, and OS X iPhone, the modified platform that supports both its namesake cellphone and the iPod touch.

The software label also passed through a southeast Asian trademark office in November, but as of this writing remains under review.

Apple's reasons for trademarking at this stage aren't entirely clear, though the most conspicuous is its current product strategy: as many of its devices are running some variant of the FreeBSD-based software but operating well outside the bounds of ordinary Macs, the company may be under some self-imposed pressure to rebrand its flagship software in a way that allows it to enforce its trademarks without tying itself to a particular software revision or product line.

A formality in trademark would also mirror steps to rebrand the company itself that were first reveled when chief executive Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce the original iPhone in January 2007. With the Apple TV in the living room and the iPhone in people's pockets, the executive argued that it was time for the company to alter its name and drop the "Computer" badge to become Apple Inc., reflecting its new general technology focus.

An image accompanying the filings.

Still, the potential trademark change represents a formal break from tradition for a company that, in 1999, deliberately kept the "Mac OS" badge for its radically altered operating system to maintain familiarity -- a move the company may no longer feel is necessary today.
post #2 of 57
What? No conspiracy theory that says Apple is going to sell OS/X to OEMs?
post #3 of 57
OS X should have been a separate name from the Mac from the start. It's a completely different OS.
post #4 of 57
"OS X" is in common use without "Mac" in front, so it is wise to protect it as a separate trademark. It doesn't necessarily imply anything else.
post #5 of 57
Could this mean OS X is coming to other Computer makers out there ? Cause that would be awesome..

Adi
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisor19 View Post

Could this mean OS X is coming to other Computer makers out there ? Cause that would be awesome..

Adi

Not trying to start a debate, but simply put, that would completely tarnish the Apple brand. It would be devastating to the company. Apple's been down that road in the past and nearly died.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Could this mean OS X is coming to other Computer makers out there ? Cause that would be awesome..

No way, Apple did it before and it make matters worse.
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post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

Not trying to start a debate, but simply put, that would completely tarnish the Apple brand. It would be devastating to the company. Apple's been down that road in the past and nearly died.

With every twist and turn that Apple makes, no matter how it affects its users:

"There is no way they'd do that! Oh, they just did."
post #9 of 57
What's in a name anyway? I couldn't care if the OS is called OS Poop, it's what it does, how reliable it is, and how slick the hard is is all care about.
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post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

What's in a name anyway? I couldn't care if the OS is called OS Poop, it's what it does, how reliable it is, and how slick the hard is is all care about.

same here, call it whatever u like, just make sure it works damn good

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post #11 of 57
I thought the reason why apple never trademarked "OS X" before was because it was already taken. Therefore they had to trademark "Mac OS X". Maybe the original "OS X" trademark expired (lapsed) or Apple bought it out.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

What's in a name anyway? I couldn't care if the OS is called OS Poop, it's what it does, how reliable it is, and how slick the hard is is all care about.

If they rebrand it OS Poop, I may just be out the door. Or maybe I'll just have to use the hacked version available online after the Dev Team finds a way to turn references of "Poop" into something better like "Goop" or "Floop" or "Zoop"... that sounds kinda cool.
post #13 of 57
It's pretty simple. OS X is being put on devices other than Macs, so they want to have a name that can work across devices. iPhones, iPods, Apple TV, Macs, and any future device.

Apple should do this even if they are never considering an OS X OEM.

-Mark
post #14 of 57
This is clearly because they have begun to use the OS in their non-macintosh products, such as their iPhones and their iPods, and possibly in Apple TV? (sorry, not sure on that one). Same thing they did with their company name from Apple Computer to just Apple. They are generalizing the names as they start expanding.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With the Apple TV in the living room and the iPhone in people's pockets, the executive argued that it was time for the company to alter its name and drop the "Computer" badge to become Apple Inc., reflecting its new general technology focus.

Or a new focus on a heathy diet.

If I am the only one who found that funny, my apologies, moving on.
post #16 of 57
They should go back to calling "System <version number>".

For example, System X.5.6.

Just kidding.

I don't think this opens up the door for selling OEM copies of OSX for Hackintoshes, but it certainly means that any device from Apple running a flavor of OSX can now be united into one lawsuit should people reverse engineer things i.e. developing alternative OSes/firmware for iPods, Apple TVs, Airport base stations, etc.
post #17 of 57
THE SKY IS FALLING!!! APPLE IS ABANDONING THE MAC!!!

( Someone had to say it )

-Clive
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post #18 of 57
What no rampant speculation about Dell OS X or HP OS X or MS OS X. The fansboys must be in a state of shock about SJ. Best wishes to him by the way. He's the gold standard for corporate leadership and America needs that type of leadership everywhere, now more than ever.
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

OS X should have been a separate name from the Mac from the start. It's a completely different OS.

Actually no it isn't. OS 9 was completely different from OS X, but OS X and MacOSX (however you want to actually write it) IS the same.

I get why they want to change things up, highlight they aren't just about computers. but I don't think they can pull off this change at least here in the US. OS X is too vague. It's like Kleenex trying to trademark 'tissue'. there are too many types of tissue. 'facial tissue' perhaps would work.

any company out there that makes a computer software for core functionality has used the phrase 'operating system' for years. To try now to trademark that isn't going to work. You can't trademark a popular phrase used by several parties this late in the game. and any operating system could have ten versions and the roman numeral X is a common shortcut. we already have an OS/X as I recall.

I just don't see it working and Apple will be stuck with MacOS and iPhoneOS for the coming years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adisor19 View Post

Could this mean OS X is coming to other Computer makers out there ? Cause that would be awesome..

Adi

not at all. Until the courts demand that they can't tie hardware and software because their market share in the personal computer market has grown so big that now it's a monopoly violation, Apple will NOT stop tying. They tried it once and it was a bigger failure than kicking out Steve Jobs.

All it might indicate is that they are considering calling an upcoming line of computers something other than Mac/Macintosh and that's a slim conclusion at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gxcad View Post

This is clearly because they have begun to use the OS in their non-macintosh products, such as their iPhones and their iPods, and possibly in Apple TV

so they trademark iPhoneOS, iPodOS. should be pretty easy since I"m sure they trademarked the terms iPhone and iPod already.

and it makes since. the iPhoneOS is not the same as the MacOS even if based on the same core. because they are two different devices. Even my granny who still uses an 8 track understands that idea.

if anything, the only reason they are doing this is because folks in the general public are saying "OS X" (although half of them wrongly as OS X and not OS Ten) and they are trying to avoid a 'kleenex' sitch. But Kleenex was specific, OS X is not.

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post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

... I get why they want to change things up, highlight they aren't just about computers. but I don't think they can pull off this change at least here in the US. OS X is too vague. It's like Kleenex trying to trademark 'tissue'. there are too many types of tissue. 'facial tissue' perhaps would work.

any company out there that makes a computer software for core functionality has used the phrase 'operating system' for years. To try now to trademark that isn't going to work. You can't trademark a popular phrase used by several parties this late in the game. and any operating system could have ten versions and the roman numeral X is a common shortcut. we already have an OS/X as I recall.

I just don't see it working and Apple will be stuck with MacOS and iPhoneOS for the coming years. ...

I think you are wrong on this part. Trademark protection doesn't impinge on the meaning of the mark AFAIK. It's the registration of a symbol. Something can be a trademark that has no writing on it at all for instance.

I'm pretty sure that you are confabulating copyright and trademark law here and whether the OS in "OS-X" means "operating system" is immaterial. If it's been around long enough, and is the dominant use, I think it might pass.
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post #21 of 57
Um...okay. Why Trinidad & Tobago?

Why is Apple filing patent applications in small Caribbean countries?
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post #22 of 57
Quote:
It's like Kleenex trying to trademark 'tissue'. there are too many types of tissue. 'facial tissue' perhaps would work.

Poor analogy.

Kleenex is a trademarked work and the actual name of their product is Kleenex® brand facial tissue. The facial tissue is not trademarked bu the brand of facial tissue is.

Styrofoam, Monopoly and scrabble are three other common words that are almost generic in meaning but are phrased as Monopoly brand board game, Styrofoam product and Scrabble brand word game.

If the phrase is used to differentiate a specific brand/identity, it can be trademarked and it is wise to do so.

The owners of Kleenex and the other trademarks I mentioned are constantly fighting to keep their brand intact instead of losing their brand name due to it being too successful and being thought of a generic term (that = losing your trademark).

Trademarking OS X is an intelligent move by Apple.
post #23 of 57
what about the fact that Windows is already on 7. In 3 releases they will be on ten, and maybe Apple is covering their butt so that Windows doesn't release Windows OSX.
post #24 of 57
It could be nothing more that to stop others taking out a patent on this and / or using OS X without Mac on other products to mislead public.
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post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

what about the fact that Windows is already on 7. In 3 releases they will be on ten, and maybe Apple is covering their butt so that Windows doesn't release Windows OSX.

You also highlight the point that Apple should patent OSX as well as OS X!
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post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

what about the fact that Windows is already on 7. In 3 releases they will be on ten, and maybe Apple is covering their butt so that Windows doesn't release Windows OSX.

Interesting point, but I feel compelled to point out that Microsoft's nomenclature and numbering systems often make no sense at all.

The current Windows 7 for instance is (internally) actually Windows 6.1. They only call it Windows seven because of the "lucky seven" connotations and the fact that Balmer is betting the company on it. The next Windows (after 7) is as likely to be "Windows X" (for Xbox cause it's "cool"), or "Windows 10" (because it's 2010), or almost anything else, as it is "Windows 8."

While with most OS vendors the number reflect the actual OS version, with Windows it's more of a marketing tool.
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post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Actually no it isn't. OS 9 was completely different from OS X, but OS X and MacOSX (however you want to actually write it) IS the same.

I get why they want to change things up, highlight they aren't just about computers. but I don't think they can pull off this change at least here in the US. OS X is too vague. It's like Kleenex trying to trademark 'tissue'. there are too many types of tissue. 'facial tissue' perhaps would work.

any company out there that makes a computer software for core functionality has used the phrase 'operating system' for years. To try now to trademark that isn't going to work. You can't trademark a popular phrase used by several parties this late in the game. and any operating system could have ten versions and the roman numeral X is a common shortcut. we already have an OS/X as I recall.

I just don't see it working and Apple will be stuck with MacOS and iPhoneOS for the coming years.



not at all. Until the courts demand that they can't tie hardware and software because their market share in the personal computer market has grown so big that now it's a monopoly violation, Apple will NOT stop tying. They tried it once and it was a bigger failure than kicking out Steve Jobs.

All it might indicate is that they are considering calling an upcoming line of computers something other than Mac/Macintosh and that's a slim conclusion at best.



so they trademark iPhoneOS, iPodOS. should be pretty easy since I"m sure they trademarked the terms iPhone and iPod already.

and it makes since. the iPhoneOS is not the same as the MacOS even if based on the same core. because they are two different devices. Even my granny who still uses an 8 track understands that idea.

if anything, the only reason they are doing this is because folks in the general public are saying "OS X" (although half of them wrongly as OS X and not OS Ten) and they are trying to avoid a 'kleenex' sitch. But Kleenex was specific, OS X is not.

The fact Monsanto are trying to and may well patent pig genes seems to make so many assumptions seem less certain. Logic and common sense seem to play no roles in this process.
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post #28 of 57
It's about time Apple change iTunes' name. The reason is self evident: iPhone/iPod Apps, television shows, movies, and syncing data have little to do with musical tunes!
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcassara View Post

It's about time Apple change iTunes' name. The reason is self evident: iPhone/iPod Apps, television shows, movies, and syncing data have little to do with musical tunes!

True, but then again the "iTunes" can be considered a brand name now that isn't associated with music as much as it is with the iPods and iPhone that use it.

Remember, the iTunes Store used to be the iTunes Music Store, which is sort of redundant (the internet Music Music Store?) and was changed when videos were added.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcassara View Post

It's about time Apple change iTunes' name. The reason is self evident: iPhone/iPod Apps, television shows, movies, and syncing data have little to do with musical tunes!

you only rebrand a household name if the product has failed. Removing Music the way they removed Computer from Apple Computers, Inc. Made sense, but removing iTunes from the name would destroy all the brand recognition they have built up.
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post #31 of 57
Would be nice if it were possible to develop a single application that could run on Macs, iPhones, or other OS X based devices. The architecture already supports multiple processors (and with the advent of OpenCL, that no longer becomes an issue), so why not have the same application support different interfaces, whether full featured or not? Developers could design a Cocoa-based interface, along with a Cocoa touch-based interface. Sure one interface may provide a bit more functionality than the other, but that's to be expected.
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post #32 of 57
It's a great move to patent OSX.

This is going to be the beginning of (another) paradigm shift at Apple. A shift to sustainable growth, of their top quality products, innovations, software, etc. Recessions come and go. (I made my first mil in the recession of 80/81, some business' thrive in this kind of environment!)
Quality Never goes out of style! The sky is NOT falling!

That is what SJ brought back to the table @ Apple, and that's what any and all of his successors need to maintain, and build on.
He has built a "Sustainable Growth" strategy. A business strategy that will take Apple well into the future.
MS, Dell, and Acer will die of rot, or not, but, they don't have this business paradigm in the entire company's collective "heads". (Acer just rode a net book wave at Walmutt).

In a couple of decades, we may have OSX "Home/vehicle/work Safety/Comfort/Security systems.
Imagine what could be done with building design and energy consumption, while raising our standards of living?

Back to the now, SJ has pretty much done his job. His business Model is built. Apple is in the design/build business, and innovates better than almost anyone.
OSX will be in lots of devices shortly.
And, Apple isn't even a "software" company like MS. How many different names for their OS have they been through? MS can't survive in Apple's territory. (Zune). While the Mac OS, always lined up. Made sense. Simply better.

Now, it's just starting a family! So, the kids get the "last name"! Apple Mac OSX.
It's "Apple's iPod / phone OSX". Or, it's "Apple's (new gadget) OSX".
Yep, this is a good base hit, that's gonna come home!

The Business model is in place, we don't need to listen to the man behind the curtain any longer because the "machine" is built. Think Disney, they have set the Gold Standard for customer service, now SJ brought it to us, in our own homes and business.
The machine that will bring us many new gadgets and technologies for our homes, autos, etc. for decades to come. And, we'll always look back on our first Apple, or Mac...

Hey, a decade from now, (X years), you go in for a computerized diagnostic / heart procedure.
You can use the Doctor that's using an Acer net book.
I'm using the Doctor who's got the "Apple iDoc kit OSX" !
(excuse the puns).

Be well ya'll.

P
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I get why they want to change things up, highlight they aren't just about computers. but I don't think they can pull off this change at least here in the US. OS X is too vague. It's like Kleenex trying to trademark 'tissue'. there are too many types of tissue. 'facial tissue' perhaps would work.

Or like Microsoft trying to trademark "Windows" for their window based graphical user interface. Even though the term "window" was used at least a decade prior to describe a method of temporarily overlapping information on a two dimensional screen. "Window" was also a very vague term used by many different interface systems, graphical or text-based, but Microsoft managed to trademark it.

I think Apple may have a hard time as there is in fact already an operating system called OS-X, however I'm not sure if it is of any relevance any longer?
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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panu View Post

"OS X" is in common use without "Mac" in front, so it is wise to protect it as a separate trademark. It doesn't necessarily imply anything else.


All this is, is Apple covering all of the bases. Making sure that someone else does not come in and take the name for a different system.

Pepsi at one time was so small that it was only served at soda fountains in New York City. So small that Coke did not even concern themselves with Pepsi. They were even offered to buy Pepsi but couldnt be bothered. (Think Michael Dells comment some years ago about Apple selling off their assets.) So Pepsi challenged Coca Cola. They wanted to call their soft drink Pepsi Cola, as their product was also made from the cola bean. However the courts ruled that the cola name was controlled by Coca Cola. But then in England the courts allowed Pepsi to use the name. Pepsi came back to America and used the ruling as a precedent. So Pepsi could call themselves Pepsi Cola, cutting in on Coca Colas established market. Meanwhile all that Coca Cola had left under copywrite was Coca. That is when Coke was copywrited. Ironically now that Pepsi is established, they dont bother using the cola anymore. But it was a simple copywrite issue that saved Pepsi. Apple wont make that mistake.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marktrek View Post

All this is, is Apple covering all of the bases. Making sure that someone else does not come in and take the name for a different system.

Pepsi at one time was so small that it was only served at soda fountains in New York City. So small that Coke did not even concern themselves with Pepsi. They were even offered to buy Pepsi but couldnt be bothered. (Think Michael Dells comment some years ago about Apple selling off their assets.) So Pepsi challenged Coca Cola. They wanted to call their soft drink Pepsi Cola, .

In Boston as a kid, I remember adults calling Pepsi, Pepsi Cola anyway. They also referred to soda as "tonic" and a liqueur store as packie store, rubber bands=elastics, there were others.. hmmm.

Some think Apple should release the OS to a select few, HP, Dell. Personally, if they did this (which is hard to imagine since they are a hardware store), Apple would have 50%, if not more, of the market in less than a month. Millions of people around the world would have dual boot machines as $129 is nothing to try a premiere(IMHO) operating system. Also, FWIW, Windows 7 is very very good, stable and very fast. They released the beta last Friday and are giving out keys good until July. One of my favorite features is, when you have say 4 windows open in Chrome, when you mouse over chrome icon (Bottom), it shows 4 thumbnails, then when you mouse over thumb, the full window shows up, hiding the other windows, then there is shake, silly, but grab a window and shake and all the other windows hide or reappear. OS X still feels better, but for many, especially tech, they are going to love WIN 7 as it runs on minimum requirements and older systems.

Get well Steve.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQ78 View Post

It's pretty simple. OS X is being put on devices other than Macs, so they want to have a name that can work across devices. iPhones, iPods, Apple TV, Macs, and any future device.

Apple should do this even if they are never considering an OS X OEM.

-Mark

You are absolutely correct. Since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has referred to its OS as "OS X." Apple is branching-out into the production of a plethora of smart devices all controlled by this same basic OS. It makes sense to copyright OS X without the Mac.

Without copyright protection, Apple runs the risk of losing the rights to the name. The situation with OS X and OS-9 are completely different. First off, Apple never sold an OS named OS-9. It developed and sold MacOS 9. OS-9 was developed by Microware Systems Corporation and is now owned by RadiSys Corporation.

Furthermore, you cannot trademark a number. This partially explains why OS-9 is now offically Microware OS-9.

BTW, this turn of events has implications for other questions on this forum, specifically, the question of the name of Apple's next OS. Apple is settling OS X in for the long haul. MacOS XI 11.0 is much less probable than MacOS X 11.0. Don't be surprised, however, to see MacOS X 10.10 after MacOS X 10.9.
post #37 of 57
Come on people, at least try to pretend you know what you're talking about.

This is about TRADEMARK protection for "OS X" not patenting or copyrighting anything.

Right now Apple owns the trademark for "Mac OS X" and has started using "OS X" in the context of the iPhone (an iPhone is not a Mac, right?). So before someone else comes along and starts marketing Lemon OS X or Whizbang OS X and confusing the poor consumer, Apple needs to (and is) locking up the "OS X" label. Big deal. Good idea, but hardly earth-shaking.
post #38 of 57
I love the image accompanying this post. It's so wonderfully pointless.
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOutlaw View Post

It's a great move to patent OSX.

Don't post a long post, when you don't even know what a patent is.
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post #40 of 57
It's worth noting that the iPhone's OS is refered to as "OS X" and not "Mac OS X" which is probably the reason for this.
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