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Apple Has Been Denied the Multitouch Trademark

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It's not hyperbolic to say that Apple introduced multitouch to the masses with the iPhone. Apple thought that they could trademark it. Unfortunately for them, the United States Patent and Trademark Office thought differently. They've denied Apple the multitouch trademark.

According to MacRumors, the decision made by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the USPTO because the term multitouch has taken on a second, more generic meaning (sorta like Aspirin and Thermos). Specifically the trademark attorney said:

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.


Apple originally applied for the trademark on January 9, 2007. MacRumors has posted the full decision on Scribd. [Scribd via MacRumors]