updated 10:05 am EDT, Wed May 21, 2008
Apple 'Mighty Mouse' suit
Apple is facing a new lawsuit over its Mighty Mouse peripheral, reports say. The case was filed in Greenbelt, Maryland by a company called Man & Machine, which is accusing Apple of violating a trademark associated with its own Mighty Mouse device, an optical mouse designed to be waterproof and chemical-resistant for use in environments such as labs and hospitals. Crucially, M&M began selling its product in 2004, over a year before Apple's device went on the market.
Also targeted in the lawsuit is CBS, one owner of the original Mighty Mouse cartoon that both Apple and M&M use as inspiration. Although the cartoon dates back to 1942, M&M says that CBS improperly licensed the trademark to Apple, as CBS' limited ownership does not actually cover computer devices. M&M and CBS are currently engaged in an approval battle at the US Patent and Trademark Office, where the former is arguing that it actually began use of the name before CBS.