Apple pushing for multi-touch trademark

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 69
    aqua os xaqua os x Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Apple doesn't have a hope in hell of winning this one. They may as well try and Trademark® lower case 'i'.



    They'll get it. It's hard to check common law trademarks, so registered trademarks are usually awarded until they're contested in court.
  • Reply 22 of 69
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton View Post


    if Apple didn't try, then someone else would. Then what would Apple do, stop using the word "multi-touch"? or pay a hefty yearly sum to keep using the word? It's better for Apple to try.



    I agree. It is a generic term but Apple have had this issue before:



    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/03...for_inventing/

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/12/18/c...d-voip-phones/



    so they need to be careful. I actually think that given the fact they will have known about it so long, they maybe should have tried to apply sooner. But I guess their love of secrecy was too much.
  • Reply 23 of 69
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton View Post


    And to extend apon what mel said, if Apple didn't try, then someone else would. Then what would Apple do, stop using the word "multi-touch"? or pay a hefty yearly sum to keep using the word? It's better for Apple to try. They will either fail, in which case then anyone can use it, or they will succeed and block the jerk who will try to extort money out of Apple.



    The one comment in this whole thread so far that is correct.



    Companies register trademarks so that they can either own them outright or so that they can be thrown out by the trademark bodies as too generic. Either way, it protects the company against other companies either using their trademark or acquiring a trademark themselves and then filing a trademark infringement lawsuit later.



    Prior use, prior art - all not important. It's who gets there first that matters.



    And if you think 'multi-touch' is too generic then just look at the list of trademarks Apple HAS managed to get registered...



    http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark/appletmlist.html
  • Reply 24 of 69
    darkstardarkstar Posts: 2member
    Hello Aqua OS X, I wasn't denying or implying that others don't use the term

    multi-touch. It's that they haven't a patent or patented the "Multi-touch" in term of hardware or software. Just as Pages, Aqua & so on now why not multi-touch, yes other's will still refer to the term multi-touch when describing their devices, just has Apple uses the term windows; but in documents they never use the term only refering to Finder or iTunes-interface etc. Just imagine sometime in the future say when if ever Apple show a true-3D interactive "Touch, feeling" they call Multi-touch true-3D UI. Ok I'm going off the deep end now or maybe I'm just an Apple fan!
  • Reply 25 of 69
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 26 of 69
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    That's the stupidest thing I ever heard! Not only has the idea been around for years in several forms, but so has the term "multi-touch" and Apple getting a trademark on that would be stupid! Yes, I hope the application fails in every single country they filed for it. This is something a marketing company would do, not a company that was made by engineers and designers.



    Oh come on. Apple have trademarked 'Carbon', the most common element on earth. If that's not prior art, what is?
  • Reply 27 of 69
    lfe2211lfe2211 Posts: 507member
    From Wiki



    A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator of some kind which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to uniquely identify the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically comprises a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories.



    The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorised use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand.



    The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, particularly the well known characteristics of celebrities. Such trademarks can be a style of haircut (Elvis Presley's distinctive ducktail), articles of clothing or accessories (Liberace's flamboyant costumes and jewelry, Elton John's oversized sunglasses, Michael Jackson's sparkly glove), facial hair (Groucho Marx's mustache), or even breast size (Dolly Parton and Pamela Anderson).
  • Reply 28 of 69
    plusplus Posts: 54member
    First, a general comment for everyone following this thread: a trademark is different from a copyright which is different from a patent! Questions of "prior art" apply to patents, but not really to the others.



    In particular, a trademark is all about commercial use of a specific term, and not the ideas or mechanisms themselves. The only connection is that a trademark is granted for commercial use of that term in a particular trade or industry. That's why "Apple" could be a trademark for a music company in England (Apple Records) and a perfectly fine trademark, at the same time, for computers (Apple Computer)?two different trademarks, in two different industries. It only got to be an issue when the boundaries between those two previously-quite-distinct industries melted away over time...leading to the series of famous court cases between the two companies and the now-famous resolution of the California computer/phone/music player company gaining full rights to the trademark originally held by Apple Records.



    Now, for all those complaining (perhaps legitimately) that "multi-touch" is too general and established a term for Apple to trademark it, let's look at the (in my opinion, much more egregious) precedent of Microsoft's trademark on the common English word "windows":



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Not so, they have a registered trademark on the term Microsoft Windows. Windows is too generic.



    Microsoft was granted a trademark of the common English word "windows" in 1995. I and many others agree with you here, SpamSandwich, that this ought not to have been allowed, but from a quick Google, it was granted and seems to still stand.



    MS's trademark has been tested in court, specifically when MS enforced it against "Lindows". Here's a New York Times article from 30-Dec-02 about the then-new court case. It's quite clear that what's at issue is the validity of MS's existing trademark on a simple English word:



    Quote:

    Lindows.com is defending a broad principle, its lawyer says. ''No company, no matter how powerful, no matter how much money it has spent, should be able to gain a commercial monopoly on words in the English language,'' said the lawyer, Daniel Harris, a partner at Clifford Chance.



    Fast forward to 11-Feb-04, and here's an article from Law.com giving the status of the case and profiling the legal issues at play.



    Quote:

    Microsoft applied for registration of the Windows trademark in 1990 and was issued the trademark in 1995.



    I remember the case being resolved, although I'm not immediately finding an article I can cite. But for a test of the consequences, just try visiting http://lindows.com?and you'll be instantly redirected to http://linspire.com. Lindows.com lost; Microsoft's trademark on "windows" was upheld.



    And finally, here's Microsoft's own page of helpful guidelines for how we can all properly honor their trademark on "windows". There are various products with longer and more specific names (e.g., "Windows XP operating system")...but the core trademark itself is on the single word "windows". As they so helpfully direct us:



    Quote:

    Include an attribution of Microsoft's ownership of the Windows trademark within the credit notice section of your documentation or advertisement. Follow this format:



    "Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries."



    So, compared to all of that, plus taking note of the other trademarks that Apple itself already holds on other terms (as others have pointed out earlier in this thread), I would predict (although IANAL) that they should have little trouble getting a trademark on the term "multi-touch". The key question as I see it is whether any of the prior use of the term has been sufficiently strongly tied to a product, or family of products. Just being associated with some technology doesn't seem to pose much of a hurdle. (And again, the question of what patents Apple may legitimately be able to procure in this domain is a very separate question.]
  • Reply 29 of 69
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    One word, "Rendezvous"



    It's a pretty common word, been around and in use for awhile, and yet Apple had to rename it to Bonjour. Note, there was no issue with the underlying technology or how it was implemented, only in how it was named. So Apple was forced to rename it because someone else had already laid claim to Rendezvous.



    So it's perfectly legit for Apple to trademark Multi-Touch. And note, they aren't laying claim to all uses of the word, only the use of the word to label a certain technology and it's implementation.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonjour_(software)



    Bonjour's original name, when introduced in August 2002 as part of Mac OS X v10.2, was "Rendezvous", similar to the French word rendez-vous for a meeting or get-together. On August 27, 2003, Tibco Software Inc announced that it had filed suit for trademark infringement.[1] Tibco already had an enterprise application integration product called TIBCO Rendezvous on the market since 1994, and the company stated that they had tried and failed to come to an agreement with Apple Computer. In July 2004, Apple Computer and Tibco reached an out-of-court settlement;[2] specifics of the settlement were not released to the public. It was widely rumored at the time that the new name would be OpenTalk, but this name was not picked (possibly due to the similarities to LocalTalk and PowerTalk). On April 12, 2005, Apple announced that Rendezvous was being renamed to Bonjour,[3] which is also a French word, meaning "hello", "good morning", or literally "Good Day".
  • Reply 30 of 69
    pascal007pascal007 Posts: 117member
    There seems to be confusion in this thread regarding what Apple is trying to trademark. What Apple is aiming at a trademark on the name, and not the concept behind the name. So it's not to prevent anybody else to use "multi-touch interface", just to force everybody else to use another word than "multitouch" when referring to the concept.



    The concept of "prior art" does not apply to these kind of trademarks. Otherwise, how could Apple have tradmarked terms like AirPort or Bonjour... and the rest of the list mentioned by AISI. Not to mention the word Apple itself !



    Comment : As I was adding my comment, a slew of others appeared in the meantime, also clarifying the concept. I hope all is clear now ! Maybe I should trademark "multiclarification" ?
  • Reply 31 of 69
    macshackmacshack Posts: 103member
    Wouldn't iMulti-Touch make more sense?
  • Reply 32 of 69
    theveebtheveeb Posts: 17member
    As posted on the comment board over at Macrumors by carfac, Apple applied for the U.S. Trademark "Multi-touch" for handheld mobile digital electronic devices on June 30, 2007. You can find it by doing a search for "multi-touch" in the US PTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) using the New User Form Search:



    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...glish&p_d=trmk
  • Reply 33 of 69
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Not so, they have a registered trademark on the term Microsoft Windows. Windows is too generic.



    It's not really a problem though. Trademarks can be issued for different categories. You can't own all uses for a word, the ownership is permitted only for certain circumstances.



    Do a search on USPTO's TESS for "Window" and you'll find 2672 trademark documents. Some of them are re-registrations, but still, that's a lot of claims, and most of them aren't at all related to Microsoft's product line or software that works with their products.
  • Reply 34 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meh 2 View Post


    They are smart to nail down both U.S. and foreign intellectual property rights as fast as possible.



    Yes, they should do US and foreign first, because alien property rights aren't the priority right now.



  • Reply 35 of 69
    aqua os xaqua os x Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    So it's perfectly legit for Apple to trademark Multi-Touch. And note, they aren't laying claim to all uses of the word, only the use of the word to label a certain technology and it's implementation.



    No it's not. A common law trademark predates Apple's soon-to-be registered trademark. If someone with equal money takes them to court, they'll loose.
  • Reply 36 of 69
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Maybe I should trademark the word "phone" and sue Apple (and Cisco, and probably a gazillion other places who have used the term).
  • Reply 37 of 69
    lfe2211lfe2211 Posts: 507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    Maybe I should trademark the word "phone" and sue Apple (and Cisco, and probably a gazillion other places who have used the term).



    Don't forget E.T.!
  • Reply 38 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    Maybe I should trademark the word "phone" and sue Apple (and Cisco, and probably a gazillion other places who have used the term).



    That's a great idea! And bonus points for the gazillionth use of that analogy!
  • Reply 39 of 69
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacShack View Post


    Wouldn't iMulti-Touch make more sense?



    I was thinking along the same lines.



    They should've come up with a new name for the idea and simply announced it from day one as their form of multi-gestural input rather than staking so much in the broad term "multi-touch."
  • Reply 40 of 69
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aqua OS X View Post


    Trademarks do not have to be registered in the US. You can still take someone to court if you did not register a trademark.



    remember... there's ® but there's also ?



    Registration of both trademark and copyright do not HAVE to be registered in the USm, that's true.



    But, as any lawyer would advise (I've had them advise me so?forcefully!), I would strongly advise anyone to go through the registration process as Apple, and all other responsible companies would.



    Registration clears up the question of whether it can be trademarked, or copyrighted, and thus, makes the defense of them, if granted, easier.
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