Apple Trademarking 'Multi-touch'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Appleinsider reports that Apple has started trademark applications "in a Far East intellectual property office" for the term "multi-touch".

    "Multi-touch" is one of the key technologies that is seen in Apple's new iPhone, but there has been analyst and user speculation that Apple would utilize this technique in future desktop or notebook functionality.

    Apple's recent multitouch mouse patent application provides further evidence that Apple is exploring other non-iPhone uses for this technology.

    Apple is not the only company utilizing "multi-touch" technology. Microsoft recently introduced their own version of it in their "Surface Computing" project. Whether or not Apple can actually receive trademark protection for this term remains to be seen.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2007
    i don't think they can get trademark protection for this.
  3. macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Hong Kong
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2007
    i heard Microsoft's 'Surface Computing' is not multi-touch technology, in fact, it is camera-supported fake
  5. macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
  6. macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2006
    West London, England
    they shouldn't be allowed to trademark this, its a definition of the technology not a product name.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    Maybe. But if they do something like this:


    (cap M cap T hyphen.)

    Who knows... it is a long shot...

    but multi touch or multitouch could still be used by others.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    How exciting! I imagine Apple patent lawyers riding the Orient Express through exotic lands in a race against time.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2007
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    MS' tech relies on IR sensors positioned about the touch 'interface'. Apple's relies on a capacative touch panel - it actually senses the proximity of your touch. From a UI perspective, it may make no difference, though Apple's is regarded as superior.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2003
    It'd be great if this was getting incorporated into a UMPC
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2003
    London, UK

    It's an application for use of the term "multi-touch", presumably in the computing field (software and hardware). I doubt there is an existing trademark, nor was the term in common use beforehand. Microsoft got a trademark on Windows in the 80s, and the term was in common use in the field (WIMP) for years before.

    The fact there were prior implementations is meaningless, this isn't a patent application.
  13. macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    Even in it's heyday, the Orient Express only would have gotten them as far east as Istanbul.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    I thought this was the case. Jeff Han's concepts were based on this tech, and it was long said that he was part of the Surface team.

    Though I don't see how it's any less multi-touch than apple's solution. Just... more old school.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2007
  16. macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    Why would you say that? Is this based on your twenty years experience as a TM attorney? It sounds more as if you just wished to make a post, rather than are posting from a position of knowledge of the situation.

    For those interested in FACTS, here is the definition of a trademark from the USPTO:

    This is the US, not Chinese definition, but it would seem to fit for Multi-Touch used by Apple in Commerce for a technology they are pioneering, and wish to distinguish from other technologies.

    I believe (but I am not sure) that Trademarks are case insensitive. The dash would make a difference, though. If you search existing Trademarks on the USPTO site, the results are full caps, which would make me think this.

    If others use the same term, but have not TMed it, oh well, the race goes to the swiftest!
  17. macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    To add to this, it looks as if Apple already holds the Trademark for "Multi Touch" in the US:

    (Filed June 30, 2007) (APPLICANT) Apple Inc. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino CALIFORNIA 95014

    This does seem a bit limiting, in that it only holds for "Handheld [and/or] mobile digital electronic devices..." if they do make a mouse version, I am not sure that is covered...
  18. macrumors 6502


    Even in it's heyday, the Orient Express only would have gotten them as far east as Istanbul.
    Good one. Do you think if companies keep copy-writing all these sayings there will be anything left to say.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    College Station, Tx
    how the heck did you find that info, man you're good. I like the trademark idea though, keeps apple competitive
  20. macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    Yankee: The Internet- it's your friend! :D

    I am not sure of the history, or how things actually shook out.... but what if Apple had an enforceable TM/Copyright on Windows... and/or Mouses (Mice?)? Down the road, Multi-Touch will be as indispensable as a computer mouse. And other "versions" of MT will be just not quite usable as the Apple version. I mean, come on- IR cameras to detect fingers? How BULKY and UNWEILDING is that????
  21. macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
    Nice find! They don't own the trademark, they've only filed for it on June 30, 2007 according to TESS.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    after using my iphone for a week...

    Apple ought to call the technology "Multi-Tap"

    they streamlined the options too much... so you literally have to tap 5-7 times to get where you need to go. instead of having a 4-5 buttons on a blackberry or treo that get you where you need in 1-2 taps
  23. macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    It shows "Live", which I guess means active. How do you see if it is granted?

    It is in the system, none-the-less...
  24. macrumors 6502


    I really think Multi-Touch is the one that will put the mouse to bed. The pad with fingers will be the next biggie.
  25. macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2007
    Multi-touch iMac?

    Apple bought a display manufacturer a few years back when their powerbooks started selling well. So a multitouch iMac might not be as far fetched as you might think at first. Steve Jobs has said that the new iMacs would be off the charts. Kinda like Apple stock of late.

    Guess buying a LCD manufacturer was foresight. It wouldn't surprise me if Jobs had the display people working just as hard as he rides everyone else at the company to push technology further.

    Personally I'm glad Steve Jobs is a perfectionist who rides everyone until the produce products so good that consumers and reviewers use words like "elegant" and "magic". To the best of my knowledge I have never heard either word being applied to a Microsoft product. X-box is as close to a hit as they have and its now another 1.15 BILLION in the hole, for a total of 7.15 Billion in the RED. The only thing magical at Microsoft is how fast the cash seems to disappear. $7,000,000,000 losses on a consumer device? How many decades will it take for them to earn that money back and break even?

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