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Apple Denied Trademark For 'Multi-Touch'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-to-settle-for-imultitouch dept.

United States 217

suraj.sun sends this excerpt from MacRumors: "In a decision handed down by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has been denied an application for a trademark on Multi-Touch. ... For trademarks, 'the greater the degree of descriptiveness the term has, the heavier the burden to prove it has attained secondary meaning.' The trademark attorney pointed out that the term 'multitouch' has taken on generic meaning, being used by a wide variety of publications to describe the touchscreen technology on Android phones, tablets, and notebooks."

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217 comments

Secondary Meaning (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523266)

Paul Reubens already has the trademark on a secondary meaning for "multi-touch"

Re:Secondary Meaning (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523292)

i multi-touched yo mama

Re:Secondary Meaning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523594)

Damn, you beat me to the punchline, I was going to say the Catholic church had prior art.

Re:Secondary Meaning (-1, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524290)

Paul Reubens already has the trademark on a secondary meaning for "multi-touch"

Most people don't know him by that name, but Pee Wee Herman instead. The "incident" you referred to was him masturbating in a porno theater.

Of course, what is also rumored is that the real reason why he was arrested is that the "effect" of his "multi-touch" technique resulted in assaulting a police officer... in the back of the head. Which officer is going to write that down in a statement? None. Hence, the lesser charge of whacking off in public.

Now, what I find the most amazing about the whole thing is that there exists a dark theater full of men watching porn with loaded weapons behind them about to go off at anytime. A really disgusting kind of Russian Roulette. How the heck do you rub one out with somebody doing the same thing behind you? Never made much sense to me.

All I ever really wanted to know, was if Paul Reubens did his signature laugh at the end. That would have been priceless. I can imagine that officer always involuntarily looking behind him anytime somebody laughs funny.

Good News (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523270)

It's good to see a common sense result come out of the USPTO, I'm really hopeful that with additional funds gained from the recent patent bill the USPTO will be able to reach similarly sane conclusions when bad software patents are files too.

Re:Good News (2, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523298)

I'm really hoping for a pony. And unicorns. Just saying.

Re:Good News (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523576)

Very true. The only thing that is going to "fix" the problem is due diligence on the public side via constantly coming up with prior art for pathetically generic patent applications.

Re:Good News (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523692)

just depends on when they applied for it but i put 1000$ that if this was granted today, tomorrow apple would suing anyone they could over it wanting their product off the market.

Re:Good News (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523314)

It's good to see a common sense result come out of the USPTO, I'm really hopeful that with additional funds gained from the recent patent bill the USPTO will be able to reach similarly sane conclusions when bad software patents are files too.

This was not about patents (which Apple richly deserves to own). It was about a Trademark.

I think it is a good thing the Trademark was denied. It has always seemed to me rather loose language to say something is "multitouch". Sure, my ATM screen is also multitouch, but nobody would confuse it with an iPad. Apple needs to figure out a useful name for what they have really achieved and trademark that.

I know, but it's hope anyway (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523334)

This was not about patents (which Apple richly deserves to own). It was about a Trademark.

Correct, BUT.

It's the same general organization. All I am saying is, it's good to see a result come out of one part that is reasonable - and that hopefully the OTHER part will start to issue more reasonable verdicts also when they have enough money to do proper patent examination.

It's a ray of hope from a very large cloud that until now had been raining on us.

It has always seemed to me rather loose language to say something is "multitouch"

Yes, I didn't even know they were trying to trademark the term. it does seem overreaching, and as they said it's obviously a term in widespread use. If they had tried to trademark it many years back, they might have had a case... possibly. The term is awfully generic.

Re:Good News (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523396)

This was not about patents (which Apple richly deserves to own).

On the general concept of multitouch, or on one method of implementing it?

Re:Good News (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523458)

What does MultiTouch as a trademark even mean? Apple doesn't sell "MultiTouch" phones, they sell iPhones. And sure, those iPhones are Multi-Touch iPhones, but they're also BatteryBased, can connect to WiFi, and HaveColor. They don't even make the screens themselves.

It's not like they're trying to trademark a business mark they're going to engage in trade under. It's a mark for, essentially, an advertising branding of a component they didn't even make. That's like Microsoft trademarking the START Menu. Or me trademarking ImWearingPants.

Re:Good News (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524370)

I did a double take then I read that. They actually rejected a patent???

Re:Good News (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524384)

Then I spotted it's only a trademark, not a patent.

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524586)

The clue was in the third word of the title, although it seems you're not alone in reading the first two words of the title and then just extrapolating an entire story in your mind.

Re:Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524482)

yer, we can't have people trademarking common terms, like windows, or word...

Re:Good News (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524844)

They may still hold a trade mark, but I'm guessing they dare not try to enforce it after what happened last time.

As early as 2002, a court rejected Microsoft's claims, stating that Microsoft had used the term "windows" to describe graphical user interfaces before the product, Windows, was ever released, and the windowing technique had already been implemented by Xerox and Apple many years before.[4] Microsoft kept seeking retrial, but in February 2004, a judge rejected two of Microsoft's central claims.[5] The judge denied Microsoft's request for a preliminary injunction and raised "serious questions" about Microsoft's trademark.

The last time they tried, they had to buy off the people they sued.

In July 2004, Microsoft offered to settle with Lindows.[6] As part of this licensing settlement, Microsoft paid an estimated $20 million US, and Lindows transferred the Lindows trademark to Microsoft and changed their name to Linspire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._Lindows [wikipedia.org]

multi-touch? (2, Funny)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523276)

my catholic school had a priest with a trademark for something like that.

Innovation in Adult Novelties Untouched! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523300)

Hurray!

Now if only... (2)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523304)

the USPTO would start rejecting vague software patents instead of granting them to every patent-troll that asks for one, the world would be a better place...

-Keeps dreaming-

Re:Now if only... (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523326)

The problem is that it's relatively easy to conclude that a trademark is descriptive. It's relatively hard, unless you are an expert in a very narrow field, to cut through the B.S. of a typical patent, figure out what it is really supposed to cover, and realize that IBM already did it back in 1963.

Re:Now if only... (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523444)

You know, there's a very simple solution to that:

Allow people to file amicus curiae-style briefs on any pending patent. Bored Slashdot posters alone would be filing "examples of prior art" for pretty much everything.

Re:Now if only... (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523990)

Unfortunately, 99.9% of that "prior art" wouldn't actually fit the patent claims, and would be more along the lines of "art that does a similar job differently, and probably happened before the patent". The remaining 0.1% would be mostly things already included in the patent as prior art, but the submitter didn't bother to check that.

Any time someone suggests letting the public handle anything important directly, I think of 4chan.

Re:Now if only... (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524056)

Agreed, like everyone is a self-appointed expert on everything. Think of these movies stars asked to comment on the economy.

Re:Now if only... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37525072)

That's a good point. You'd probably need to have some restrictions on people filing. Limiting it to "people with a degree in the relevant field" would probably be a good start - it would be wide enough to still be useful, but it would filter out many of the people who don't know what they're talking about.

pay people to find prio art (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524406)

Give the person who finds prior art , double the fee that the patent applicator paid for. If its ibm or the big wigs, charge them the 'cancellation' fee.

Or like RIAA, make the bogus patent fine, like 1000x the fee.

Re:Now if only... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523798)

The obvious solution to software patent is to simply not allow them. That requires no expertise in a narrow field, it simply requires that if it is not a mechanical or physical invention, you can't patent it, so applicants can fuck off.

Re:Now if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524110)

"...on a computer" and it's a physical invention.

Re:Now if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524924)

Define "software patent". Most software patents *do* describe a mechanical or physical invention. "A computer running software which..."

Software has to be stored on a machine somehow, and that has to be done physically. Does firmware count as software? What about chip design?

Should we be able to patent the typewriter, but not the word processor (http://www.directorypatent.com/US/3786429.html)? Why?

The only way to throw away software patents is to throw away all patents, and I don't think we should do that.

Re:Now if only... (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524968)

It's relatively hard, unless you are an expert in a very narrow field, to cut through the B.S. of a typical patent, figure out what it is really supposed to cover, and realize that IBM already did it back in 1963.

Actually, it's very easy. "Is this a software or business process patent? Yes? Rejected."

Now if only... (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524010)

Americans would fund their government departments instead of asking them to be commercially indepedent so that instead of focussing on collecting as many fees as possible they can focus on quality.

But then, an American might have to pay TAXES! Boogaa boogaa! Cut funding to the bone and yet get bare bones service.

The USPTO is as good and as bad as Americans are allowing it to be through their votes for tax cuts.

but TSA gets 9 billion $ (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524420)

Fake security is more important, and also they need to hire 50,000 deadbeat theives and sexual perverts who like to finger super models vaginas.

Oh did I say they steal ipads/iphones too.

Makes 1940s germany a very nice place indeed.

Thankfully (1, Insightful)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523306)

Considering a near three-decade long history of Multi touch RnD (starting with University of Toronto, followed by Bell Labs and Xerox [google.com] , et al...) a patent awarded to apple would be quite a spit in the face of everyone who made the technology possible in the first place.

Re:Thankfully (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523364)

Considering a near three-decade long history of Multi touch RnD (starting with University of Toronto, followed by Bell Labs and Xerox, et al...) a patent awarded to apple would be quite a spit in the face of everyone who made the technology possible in the first place.

Strangely enough, this story had nothing to do with patents at all. The only thing "patent" about it is the P in the USPTO acronym, but that's not what this is about. This is about the T, which is the Trademark portion of their office.

Not only did the summary say "trademark" but the article title even used the word "trademark." Feel free to yell about patents in context, but for now, this isn't it.

Re:Thankfully (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524398)

Yes. But you can't take a pre-existing word in use by multiple people to describe a particular technology, trademark it, and then prevent those same people using the word they've been using for longer than you to describe the stuff they invented. (Here [billbuxton.com] 's some of that UToronto work the OP was talking about, if you're unsure as to whether they were using the same term to describe it).

Re:Thankfully (4, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523534)

Considering a near three-decade long history of Multi touch RnD (starting with University of Toronto, followed by Bell Labs and Xerox [google.com] , et al...) a patent awarded to apple would be quite a spit in the face of everyone who made the technology possible in the first place.

Not only is TFA (and even TFS) clearly about trademarks and not patents but Apple do have a patent on multitouch.

There should be some penalties... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523312)

How could Apple try to trademark 'Multi-touch' with a straight face?

This is like Ford trying to trademark 'Four-wheel drive' or Sony trying to trade mark 'Entertainment Center'.

Blatantly trying to abuse the system like this should warrant a paddling.

Re:There should be some penalties... (4, Insightful)

E.I.A (2303368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523476)

"How could Apple try to trademark 'Multi-touch' with a straight face?" They can't; that's why they do it with a flagrantly crooked one. Regarding penalties, I simply won't touch a Mac, or any Mac product. Especially after they fussed with that patent to remotely disable video on "smart" phones.

Re:There should be some penalties... (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523496)

It's not as preposterous as it seems, especially considering how long these application processes can take. Before the iPhone, almost no one used the term "multi-touch". Here's Google's trending on the term. [google.com] Note that the iPhone was released in 2007. As the USPTO rightly points out, it is more descriptive than distinctive and has rapidly become a common phrase, so they rightly denied the trademark. But it probably didn't seem as preposterous when the request was originally made.

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523506)

Oops... mis-copied the link: Here is the Google Trends on the term "multi-touch" [google.com] (again note that the iPhone is circa 2007.)

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524216)

Try a Google Books search. Tons of references from the 1990's, some earlier.

Re:There should be some penalties... (3, Informative)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523582)

Multi-touch devices have been in existence longer than Apple has been around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-touch [wikipedia.org]

Re:There should be some penalties... (2)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524324)

Multi-touch devices have been in existence longer than Apple has been around.

That's irrelevant, as we're talking about a trademark, not a patent. The relevant factor is whether or not it was called 'multi-touch' by anyone before Apple.

And obviously, the fact that it's generic, which is what the ruling came down to.

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524404)

The relevant factor is whether or not it was called 'multi-touch' by anyone before Apple.

Here's a paper from 1984: http://www.billbuxton.com/leebuxtonsmith.pdf [billbuxton.com]

Satisfied?

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524432)

The relevant factor is whether or not it was called 'multi-touch' by anyone before Apple.

Here's a paper from 1984: http://www.billbuxton.com/leebuxtonsmith.pdf [billbuxton.com]

Satisfied?

Trademark and patents are different things. Its not enough to show a single reference to prior art. Its a question of whether the term is in general use. In this case it has become so in the time since the trademark was applied for. At the time the term multi-touch wasn't in widespread use. Touchscreen was everywhere, but not multi-touch. It was a stretch for Apple to attempt to get the term trademarked, but not entirely unreasonable.

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524442)

Actually I think the example of the ThinkPad X60 used by another commenter was more salient, as it referred to an actual product for sale, as opposed to a concept in an academic environment. I'm assuming of course that the UoT never commercialised it.

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

Hotweed Music (2017854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523696)

Nobody talked about it because nobody cared about it yet. It was still an emerging technology. >.>

Re:There should be some penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524386)

Before the iPhone, almost no one used the term "multi-touch".

But *almost* no one is not good enough. In order for it to be a valid trademark, they would need to show they were the first to use it as a term for a similar type of system. As this paper from 1984 [billbuxton.com] seems to predate any work Apple did using such technology, it seems unlikely they were the first.

Re:There should be some penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524784)

Wrong. Trademarks are not patents. If it were a patent then one person would be enough to invalidate it. With trademarks, it needs to be in reasonably common usage (within the field), or it needs to have become generic since with insufficient challenge to defend the trademark. "Almost no one" using the term wouldn't be strong enough to prevent a trademark.

Re:There should be some penalties... (2)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523550)

Any corporation in Apple's position would try the same thing. Business is a game of market lockout. They gave it their best shot (while trying to keep a straight face), and USPTO called their bluff. End of story.

Re:There should be some penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523596)

same for app store lol

Re:There should be some penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524296)

The same way Microsoft trademarked:

Windows.(When everybody was using the term back in the day for their programs and desktops).
Excel.(generic term in English)
Powerpoint.
Office.
Project.
Vista(generic term in Spanish).

It is very easy, you summit an application, it gets refused. You infuse a lot of money in the system and try again, eventually you succeed.

Money, my friend, the answer is power and money.

Re:There should be some penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524360)

Yeah, I mean Apple have no money whatsoever, so it was always clear that their trademark on the non-common word "Apple" would be rejected.

Seriously, you have no idea how trademarking actually works and you're a prick.

Re:There should be some penalties... (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524852)

Even more farcical than trying to trademark something like "App Store". Though not quite as bad as claiming ownership on the idea of a rectangular shape with a touchscreen.

Phillip.

So they need a less descriptive name (2)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523344)

It should be easy to come up with a less-descriptive name. They could call it "Squidly", "Octie", "Starfish", or "Tentacular", something that makes people think of multi-touch creatures.

Or they could do it like companies did in the mid 20th century, by deliberately misspelling parts of the name: "Multy-Tuuch", "Mani-Fyngers", or "Repeat-O-Poke". Or maybe something more 90's, like "Apple Bob". In the 2000's Apple did a great job marketing the iFixing of nouns, so they could use something like "iSteve" or "iMultitouch" or "iShocker" (rule 34 dictated I had to place that one in here.) They could stick with the Apple theme and call it something like a "Granny Smith" or "Honey Crisp".

Anyway, there are lots of names they could trademark. They just have to pick one.

Google Patent lists "multitouch" since 1972... (3, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523428)

Google Patent gave me 991 hits for "multitouch". The oldest was from 1972 and used as:

"In an example of practice of the invention, a foil electret for use in a multitouch selector was prepared from a 1 mil (25.4 micrometer) thin film of polyfluoroethylene-propylene plastic material, marketed commercially under the tradename TEFLON FEP, with a 1,000 A. metallic layer on one of its surfaces."

Sure sounds like people understood the concept of multitouch years before Apple was even founded.

Re:Google Patent lists "multitouch" since 1972... (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523498)

yes its not really a ground breaking idea, and even those crappy touchpads on laptops years before apple started doing it supported "multitouch" 1 finger for left click, 2 for right or 2 in the special places to scroll around ... first saw those back when apple was still sending out trackballs on their lappies

Now just because they found a new gimmick for that idea they feel the need to own it, no matter who invented it.

Next Up, Revoke Their Multi-Touch Patents (3, Interesting)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523440)

While Apple may have been one of the first companies that implemented multi-touch, there is nothing novel about the concept. It was made possible by the invention of capacitive touch screens (which Apple had nothing to do with - Apple was simply one of the first companies to use a capacitive touch screen) and it was widely known that one of the advantages of capacitive touch screens over resistive touch screens was that capacitive touch screens were superior for multi-touch. Therefore, Apple patented the concept of using someone else's new technology for one of it's primary intended purposes.

Re:Next Up, Revoke Their Multi-Touch Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524358)

If you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about, I advise you to shut up.

Apple bought the Fingerworks company for its multi-touch technology and its patents. Apple didn't invent, they acquired. They were not one of the first companies to implement it, and capacitive touch screens were not even used.

Re:Next Up, Revoke Their Multi-Touch Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524426)

that explains how the mt sensors aren't made by apple, too.

but what apple did, was to buy a mt keyboard maker, then bury that tech, then come up with it again - only worse.

"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (0)

Quixotic Raindrop (443129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523450)

Well, USPTO is getting smarter, but not smart enough. If you are really serious about reform, and you applaud USPTO's rejection of this term, you must also support revoking the Microsoft trademark on "Windows". Let's get on it Slashdot.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (-1, Flamebait)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523522)

the Patent office has absolutely nothing to do with trademark fanboi

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity"

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (1)

Quixotic Raindrop (443129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523558)

Uh, it's the patent and trademark office (USPTO). And we're talking about trademarks (oranges and oranges). Read more carefully.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523564)

oh the slashdot article that was copied and pasted of of some overglorified blog MUST be correct

Further proof people who use "fanboy" are morons (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523890)

the Patent office has absolutely nothing to do with trademark fanboy

Care to explain to the rest of the class what the "T" means in USPTO?

Go away small-minded Hater, important things are being discussed here.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (3, Interesting)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523572)

If you are really serious about reform, and you applaud USPTO's rejection of this term, you must also support revoking the Microsoft trademark on "Windows".

Is it really still not obvious to some people why Windows is a valid trademark? Same as Apple? Yes they are generic words but they aren't generic words describing the entity/product. Windows (the Microsoft trademarked name) is not a windows, it is an Operating System. Apple (the Apple Inc. trademarked name) is not an apple, it is a Company. MultiTouch would be just describing the invention multitouch, just as App Store is just describing an application (or commonly termed 'app') store.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524328)

Except that Windows was a windowing system in its original incarnation, leaving us with another descriptive trademark.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523618)

Windows is trademarked as the name of an operating system, for which it is not a descriptive term. Perhaps you'd also like to bitch about GM trademarking the name "Volt"?

You can describe an operating system without calling the whole thing Windows. It is very difficult to describe a touch interface that tracks multiple fingers at a time without calling it Multi-Touch.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524176)

Perhaps you'd also like to bitch about GM trademarking the name "Volt"?

No, but I might start to bitch if they trademarked the name "Wheels". That's an integral, visible component of the product, just like windows are for an operating system.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523838)

If you are really serious about reform, and you applaud USPTO's rejection of this term, you must also support revoking the Microsoft trademark on "Windows".

No, no you absolutely don't, yet there's always some retard like you who doesn't understand what a trademark is.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524042)

Microsoft knows the Windows trademark would never stand up in court. It protects it with intimidation and bribes.

Re:"Windows" ... but not "Multi-Touch" ? (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524242)

If you are really serious about reform, and you applaud USPTO's rejection of this term, you must also support revoking the Microsoft trademark on "Windows".

The trademark term is "Microsoft Windows", and that's obviously permitted. Had Apple tried to get "Apple Multi-Touch" then they'd have had no problem (but it wouldn't have had the squatting-on-a-term effect that they wanted).

Legal idiocy (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523482)

From TFA:

Apple originally applied for the trademark on January 9, 2007, the day the iPhone was introduced.

...and I'm writing this post on a Thinkpad X60 tablet that was marketed as a "MultiTouch" model in 2006.

It's stunning that Apple would even ~try~ to trademark a term that other manufacturers were already using in mainstream marketing & press releases.

The Apple trademark lawyers in this instance were either very stupid, very lazy, or very self-interested. ;)

Re:Legal idiocy (2, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523578)

The Apple trademark lawyers in this instance were either very stupid, very lazy, or very self-interested. ;)

Would you settle for "very rich"?

Actually, that's what sets you apart from them. They wouldn't settle for merely "very rich", which is why they're now "filthy rich".

Really? (-1, Redundant)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523574)

Multi-touch?
Next thing you know, they'll want to trademark something like "app store"....

Of real benefit? (0)

DjDanny (171472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523828)

How would Apple's patent on "Multi Touch" have benefited consumers?

Re:Of real benefit? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524590)

Perhaps because it's not a patent, but a trademark?

Did you read the summary?

Either way, trademarks are designed to differentiate company products from competitors (so Burger King can't sell you a Big Mac, for example), but in the case of multi touch being descriptive the decision was correct - it is a generic term, so the trademark was rejected. It has taken them since 2007 to come to the decision though.

Easy solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37524418)

Judge: So Apple, what would you have as the penalty for those who infringe on this patent?
Apple: Worldwide ban on their products, and tying them down naked in a room full of randy goats.
Judge: Hey Apple, look, somebody did what you're trying to patent 10 years earlier, looks like a worldwide ban for you... bring in the goats!

A Whisper (2)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524640)

If you quietly glance out the corner of your eye, you might glimpse the most successful company in the nation floundering, losing its guts, for want of the vision of a charismatic individual.

Re:A Whisper (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37524802)

Yes, I can see how a trademark application that was applied for in 2007 when the original iPhone launched finally being decided on in 2011 as a clear indication that Apple is "floundering" now that Steve Jobs has moved from CEO to chairman of the board.

I mean, really?

Re:A Whisper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37525024)

What you're actually seeing is that people are starting to wake up. In these days of disaster and evil, is the shiny really so important? No.

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