27 September 2011

Apple denied a “multi-touch” trade mark

The US PTO has refused Apple’s trade mark application for “multi-touch” because the term is deemed too generic.

Apple submitted substantial evidence of use in order to claim that they had “acquired distinctiveness” in the term but this use consisted of references to their Iphone product rather than “multi-touch”. Although the term had been used in assocation with a highly successful product, this did not mean that the term itself had acquired enough distinctive character to claim trade mark status. This means that any manufacturer of devices offering multitouch technology can use the term.

This shows how important it is to use your mark as a trade mark and wherever possible to stay away from adopting generic terms if you want them to function as trade marks. The more unusual the name the more likely it is to be registrable.

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