Apple Applies for Trademark of iPhone Design

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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MacNN reports that Apple has filed two patent trademark applications for "iPhone design trademark protection".
In both applications, Apple has filed for iPhone design trademark protection under International Class 009 which is detailed below. Apple’s design trademark applications were accompanied by an unprecedented number of evidence specimens, numbering more than 170.
The trademark applications were reportedly accompanied by a number of photographs and newspaper clippings depicting the iPhone.

Article Link
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,587
0
At least it won't be "locked" or a "carrier exclusive"...
I know you're being funny here, but in neneral Nokia phones sold by US cell phone carriers are locked, and often are only available from one carrier.
 

NewSc2

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2005
1,043
0
New York, NY
Wow, just wow. Are you fraking serious?


This reminds me very much of that movie "Coming to America" with Eddie Murphy. Where the restaurant owner that employed Eddie said "We're McDowels... McDonalds has the Golden Arches....we have have the Golden Archs"
That Nokia phone is a fake. It was a model just used to demo their new UI, which is pretty close to the iPhone's UI.
 

NewSc2

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2005
1,043
0
New York, NY
I know you're being funny here, but in neneral Nokia phones sold by US cell phone carriers are locked, and often are only available from one carrier.
Yeah, but most Nokia phones can be taken out of the country and unlocked by Nokia or your carrier. I don't quite see the hubbub about the iPhone being unlocked in the U.S., as the only other option is T-Mobile, and T-Mobile doesn't have an iPhone data plan, but I can see why people would like to keep their phones if they move out of the country.
 

Methodman1977

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2007
7
0
Why didn't Apple do this earlier? They had to assume that other phone manufacturers would copy their design.:confused:
 

iLeoMarc

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2007
229
21
Why didn't Apple do this earlier? They had to assume that other phone manufacturers would copy their design.:confused:
Ehh, isn't this an application for a trademark? Not a patent? I think it is more so that they can lay claim to the iPhone photo as distinctly theirs? I think it's more of a safety net for apple, so that not everyone can place a picture of the iphone in products and services provided by other vendors.

Apple already has patent the design of the iPhone.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
108
That Nokia phone is a fake. It was a model just used to demo their new UI, which is pretty close to the iPhone's UI.
It was a prototype, not a fake.

You can see the whole thing here.

Personally, I think "Good for Apple". Other handset manufacturers should produce different form factors, not just lazily rip off the big screen, home button and organic oblong shape.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
it going to be fairly limited in what it can do though because a lot of the so called copy phones have been long enough to be able to claim they where not coping and not to really be effected by it.
 

samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,211
87
Australia
As mentioned above, I can see why they're doing this, but the majority of the fakes / look-a-likes come from China, or that is to say, are made and used in China. No amount of patents and trademarks will ever stop them being made there, they really don't care who owns what.

I know this has nothing to do with this thread, but I just got my iphone and I'm syncing my AOL mail with it. how do I select AOL when the only mail option in iTunes recognized is Outlook express????????????
On windows. You can only use Outlook I believe. So your options are not to sync your data, or start using Outlook as your e-mail client.
 

ViveLeLivre

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2006
147
0
Apple has nothing to fear from Nokia, or MS for that matter. The beauty of the iPhone is the home button - most of what you want is a simple click and point away. You're never scrolling through menus for anything but specific contacts, songs, calendar entries and the like. The Nokia and MS interfaces shown in this thread can't touch that.

I can't believe Apple waited this long to TM the hardware, however.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
108
Apple has nothing to fear from Nokia, or MS for that matter. The beauty of the iPhone is the home button - most of what you want is a simple click and point away. You're never scrolling through menus for anything but specific contacts, songs, calendar entries and the like. The Nokia and MS interfaces shown in this thread can't touch that.

I can't believe Apple waited this long to TM the hardware, however.
I don't think it's a case of waiting this long, more a case of taking this long to put together as good a case as possible and collect all necessary evidence.

These things have to stand up in a court of law.

Apple doesn't want to see other companies think they have a right to steal its IP just because iPhone is popular.
 

MrT8064

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
715
18
UK
I think apple should sue till theres no tommorow any chinese company that copys the iPhone interface or design
 

aapl-ip

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2007
12
0
Why didn't Apple do this earlier? They had to assume that other phone manufacturers would copy their design.:confused:
unlike other IP regimes (e.g. patent) registration / filing date is not as important for trademark protection

date is relevant for enforcement, but not for priority of use, which Apple clearly could establish regardless of its date of registration (i.e. nobody else could get away with registering the same trademark, either before or after Apple's registration)

(this doesn't completely answer your question however...)

USPTO links: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=r53c25.2.1
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=r53c25.3.1
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,336
0
Bay Area, CA
unlike other IP regimes (e.g. patent)
Actually, none of that matters. A trademark doesn't protect a product design from being copied. It protects advertising. People won't be able to use iPhones in ads and won't be able to make it look like people are using iPhones.

They didn't do it right away because it's not terribly important. This will just stop other companies from trading on the iPhone design for their own marketing advantage. It has almost nothing to do with stopping knockoffs from being made.
 

aapl-ip

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2007
12
0
What doesn't matter? I don't understand.

A trademark doesn't protect a product design from being copied.
It certainly could if enforced (whether enforcement would occur where knock-offs would likely be manufactured is another issue...) If you look at USPTO application #77303256 you'll see that it is for the design of the iPhone: "The mark consists of the configuration of a handheld mobile digital electronic device"

Regarding enforcement, trademark protection accrues with actual use, however a trademark registrant can sue in federal court (and possibly recover damages for willful infringement)

This trademark registration might be useful to Apple both to deter others from producing similarly configured devices as well as to prevent unauthorized accessory manufacturers using realistic representations of the iPhone in their marketing and sales efforts (as matticus008's indicates in the post above)

Why didn't Apple register earlier?

It may be a combination of Apple wanting to submit a strong application, which must include (within 6 months of filing) "specimens" of use (and apparently 170 were submitted) and the fact that time was not of the essence.

Moreover, that collection of iPhone "specimens" is strong evidence of secondary meaning, i.e. that the public associates the trademark (in this case the design of the device) as specifically being an Apple iPhone. This association of trademark to source is essential for design trademark protection.
 
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