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USPTO again closes the door on Apple's multi-touch trademark application

Apple has been winning quite a few battles when it comes to infringements on its patents by Android device makers. Samsung has taken the brunt of the blows from Apple, but device manufacturers like HTC have also felt the wrath of Apple

Today, however, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) brought Apple back down to earth. Apple originally filed to trademark "multi-touch" on January 9, 2007, but was shutdown by the USPTO. Apple appealed, and the result was again another rejection for Apple [Scribd].

The decision was uncovered by the folks over at Mac Rumors

The USPTO determined that multi-touch is indeed a generic term used by numerous companies like Microsoft, HP/Palm (RIP), and various Android device makers. It goes on to describe that Apple has not proven that multi-touch "has become distinctive of applicant's services." In addition, Apple could not prove that multi-touch is a defining attribute of its products, or one that is specifically sought out by consumers: 

The record contains little direct or circumstantial evidence that purchasers of applicant’s goods view MULTI-TOUCH as a distinctive source indicator for applicant’s goods. Clearly, MULTI-TOUCH is not the primary mark for applicant’s goods, and it is not apparent from the material submitted by applicant to what extent MULTI-TOUCH has made an impression on purchasers as a source indicator for applicant’s goods. 

The USPTO then summarizes its ruling, slamming the door on Apple by stating, "Simply because the applied-for term has been used in association with a highly successful product does not mean the term has acquired distinctiveness."





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