Apple Refused ‘Multi-Touch’ Trademark

Way back on January 9th, 2007, Apple brought the original iPhone into existence, and the rest as they say, is history. On that very same day, the Cupertino company also filed for a trademark for Multi-Touch. And now, 4 years later, the United States Patent and Trademarks Office has made its decision on the application.

In what is a rare knock-back for Apple, the USPTO has decided that Apple was not the rightful owner of the Multi-Touch trademark and, unsurprisingly, the iPhone-making giant decided to appeal. That appeal has now been heard, and Tim Cook and co. are still out of luck…

The USPTO’s lawyer has declared that the term ‘Multi-Touch’ has taken on a generic meaning, and is currently being used by countless companies when describing their smartphones and tablets.

“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.”

The full decision is on Scribd, should such legalese float your boat. But what it all boils down to is this: Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and every other smartphone maker can carry on.

Apple? Well, they’ll just have to go back to making damn good smartphones and tablets, won’t they?