Apple Awarded U.S. Trademark for Mac Startup Chime

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Patently Apple reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has officially granted Apple a registered trademark for the sound that its Mac computers make after booting up.

    The original chiming sound was created by Apple programmer Jim Reekes, who designed many of the system sounds for the Mac OS, including that iconic startup chime roughly 20 years ago. Apple has used several different variations on the chime over the years, including a shift in pitch to the current tone Apple notes as having been in use since early 1999.

    On the trademark application, which was filed in June of this year, Apple states that the chime is "a sound mark consisting of a slightly flat (by approximately 30 cents) G flat/F sharp major chord."

    Apple uses the sound to signal that the diagnostic tests run at the startup of a Mac computer have found no hardware or software problems.

    Other Apple trademarks include slogans like "There's an app for that" and "Think Different," and product labels like "Retina," "Time Capsule," and "Smart Cover."

    Article Link: Apple Awarded U.S. Trademark for Mac Startup Chime
  2. macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2010
    And yet I'm still searching for a way to stop my Mac from making that annoying sound on start up.
  3. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I admit, it is still better than the windows startup sound.
  4. macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Mute it before shutting it down.
  5. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    The same sound was used in a Pixar movie, WALL-E, when he recharged to 100%. :)
  7. macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2012
  8. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
  9. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Yeah, I kind of liked that sprightly "bing!" sound rather than the current "boooooong".

    Onomatopoeia is sure odd when typed...
  10. gpat, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    At least, one legitimate patent.
    Edit: sorry about that
  11. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Trademark, not patent.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    I didn't even know you could trademark a sound. Seems more copyright territory to me.

    I hope the Simpson's creators have trademarked 'Doh!' :)
  13. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    This isn't a patent. McDonalds has a trademark on those stupid golden arches. They are not patented. Even the laws surrounding infringement and enforcement differ between the two.

    I was thinking the same thing. Music/songs are typically covered by copyright. Perhaps the details preclude this kind of coverage. I don't know the laws around them well enough to know exactly what is covered. Perhaps someone who understands them will chime (hehe) in.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2009
    United kingdom
    I quite like the current chime, but some of my favourites have to be the ones from Macs during my early years.

    1. Macintosh Performa 5200 (fav chime by far)
    2. TAM
    3. Macintosh LC550
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2009
    Caracas, Venezuela
    oh, the precious chime... it has made so many people jump in the local library when I decide to use my MacBook to write my papers... :cool:
  16. inkswamp, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    macrumors 68020


    Jan 26, 2003
    I sense an Apple-Pixar lawsuit coming up. :D

    There ought to be a setting in a control panel to mute the startup sound. Why that has never materialized is beyond me.

    Apple's standard for usability is whether the machine works the way you work or whether you have to work the way the computer requires you. I've long wanted a way to mute the startup sound. My iMac is in my bedroom and I often start it up at night when my wife is in there sleeping. If I forgot to mute it last time I shut down (i.e., the machine requiring me work its way), I accidentally wake her up.

    Beyond that, I question the value of the startup sound beyond branding. I'm not sure what purpose it serves or why Apple has retained that one aspect of the Macs from the old days when they so readily jettisoned everything else.
  17. macrumors 68040

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Is it too late to trademark Middle C? A4 (aka A = 440 Hz)?
  18. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    Huh, I just played it on the piano. Doesn't sound quite right.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2012
    It's A Wonderful Mac Quote

    Great timing for the announcement.

    Reminds me of a quote from one of the versions of the holiday classic It's A Wonderful Mac...

    "Every time a Mac makes it's startup sound, a Dogcow does a precision bit-map alignment."

    Although, I might be the only one around here who remembers that video from MacAddict back in 1997 (since it is not available on the web).
  20. macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

    Dec 5, 2012
    Huntington Beach, California
    Pixar has very close ties with Apple since Steve Jobs was a majority stakeholder in Pixar prior to it being acquired by Disney. It's why you'll also notice the "Apple car" in the Pixar movie "Cars", as well :D there's also lots of references to Apple, Inc. in a lot of Pixar's short films.
  21. macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
  22. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    There is a great (but loooong) interview with Jim Reekes regarding his early time at apple, and the origins of the Startup chime. It is a long watch, but some good old Apple history Lore.

    Clearly the current chime, in the octive used on the Quadra 840AV was the best :)
  23. macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2008
  24. macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2011
    Oh, the pain in my ass when I turn on my MBA first thing in the morning and it's so loud it disturbs my family because I forgot to lower the volume before shutting it down the previous night. One of the very few things I have to fault about my precious.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2011
    Note that A is not 440 but 432.4. You'd have to detune your whole piano to make that sound.

Share This Page