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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    kpomkpom Posts: 653member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Oh Well...
  • Reply 3 of 41
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    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.

  • Reply 4 of 41


    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)?

  • Reply 5 of 41
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    So Apple will change it and make it purple.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 41

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 41
    kpom wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,628member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    Why don't they just alter their iTunes circle logo and use a square version of that in iOS?
  • Reply 12 of 41
    Justin Timberlake took his role as Napster guy too seriously.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 41


    "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

  • Reply 15 of 41
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 41

    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

  • Reply 18 of 41


    So just buy MySpace...


    It's like 200 mil.


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

  • Reply 19 of 41
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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/
  • Reply 20 of 41
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
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