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Apple Denied Trademark on Multi-Touch

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Finally. It seems like someone in the patent process has decided to apply some common sense and perspective. Apple had applied for a patent on the term “multi-touch” in 2007 when it released the first iPhone. At the time just about everyone who had been using multi-touch on other devices thought this was an over reach. Apple was turned down at the time and appealed.

Apple has lost that appeal, and it seems like common sense has indeed played a role. Well, at least as much as common sense can play a role in any of these dealings. Here’s a quote:

Thus, from the foregoing, we find that “multi-touch” not only identifies the technology, but also describes how a user of the goods operates the device. Based on the evidence discussed above, as well as other evidence in the record, we agree with the examining attorney that MULTI-TOUCH indeed is highly descriptive of a feature of the identified goods. We now consider whether applicant has submitted sufficient evidence to establish acquired distinctiveness of this highly descriptive term.

It’s amazing to try and wrap your head around how folks involved in these processes think.

Via MacRumors

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

3 Comments

  1. Michael Anderson

    09/27/2011 at 12:19 pm

    Um … ‘patent’ and ‘trademark’ are VERY different things.

    Apple HAS patents on multi-touch technology, as they DID invent (well, bought the inventor) multi-touch on capacitive screens.

    But the term itself is just way too generic … and so the trademark office was right in saying that even by 2007 it was becoming general parlance …

  2. Dale Strauss

    09/27/2011 at 1:15 pm

    Michael is right – how many of you have made a “Xerox” instead of a “copy”? That’s all that happened here. Not to downplay the significance. But for this common sense decision, Samsung would be saying:

    “The Samsung Galaxy Tab with commands input by physical manipualtion of the screen surface with fingers from the same or both hands in a series of contacts or swipes with the fingers against the surface.”

    instead of

    “The Samsung Galaxy Tab with multi-touch screen.”

  3. Anonymous

    09/27/2011 at 2:06 pm

    I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use GrаbPenny.сom

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