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Man & Machine wins Mighty Mouse trademark

updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu October 8, 2009

Apple may have to change mouse name

Years after having taken both Apple and CBS to court, Man & Machine has announced that it has at last been awarded registration of the "Mighty Mouse" trademark. The small accessory maker previously filed a 14-page complaint, claiming it had developed a desktop waterproof mouse under the same name over a year prior to the debut of Apple's product. The company also accused Apple of intentionally buying up search keywords for the phrase "Mighty Mouse," which further diverted people from finding their Mighty Mouse model or its website.

Apple currently licenses the Mighty Mouse name from CBS, which owns trademarks associated with the cartoon character. Nothing has been said regarding whether Apple will now try and license the phrase from Man & Machine, or if it will simply move on to a new name. A new multi-touch mouse is believed to be in development by Apple, one which will remove the mechanical scrollball and replace it with a surface supporting various control gestures.

by MacNN Staff



  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fixing a mistake

    I think it was a dumb decision for Apple to name their mouse a "Mighty Mouse". It's too bad that they wasted money on licensing and court fees for a useless name. It's just a Mac mouse - nothing "mighty" about it.

  1. cgc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    better name

    Apple should have called their hockey puck mouse "Suxor Mouse" and the current roller ball mouse "Suxor Mouse II". I can't believe Apple has suck a great engineering/design section but still can't design a mouse worth a c***.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lame name

    Agreed, 'Might Mouse' was a pretty bad name, conjuring images of cartoon superhero rodents from my childhood. New name suggestion: iPoint Pro.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A mouse that wasn't too mighty

    It's time for Apple to retire the moniker and introduce the new mouse. Super Mouse?

    Drop it light a...mighty house already.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ok,m but...

    Does this mean that Man & Machine must license the name from CBS now too?? clearly thats the original "Mighty Mouse"

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So, a product was

    being developed a year before Apple's product "debuted"?

    How long do you suppose Apple's product was being developed before its debut?

    Was it a project name, or was it slated from the start of development to have that name?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can no one read?

    being developed a year before Apple's product "debuted"?

    It does NOT say being developed, it says developed, as in "already finished". And if you looked it up, you'd see they were selling their mouse a year before Apple started selling theirs.

    Does this mean that Man & Machine must license the name from CBS now too?? clearly thats the original "Mighty Mouse"

    No, because they were awarded the name for their device, which means they don't need to pay anyone for anything (and now they can sue Apple's a** for using their name, probably). CBS has the trademark for Mighty Mouse the cartoon character, but they do not have rights to the name in all facets of products.

    For example, just look at the Woolworth's discussion from earlier in the week. It wasn't that the image looked like Apple's (so Apple claims), but that they were trying to use it for all types of products, including electronics.

    Or, there's no reason you couldn't make a garden rake called the "Mac Pro" (to complement your cheaper rake, the "Mac"), as no one of any intelligence is going to confuse your overpriced rake with an overpriced computer system.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New mouse

    And so how 'different' will be making their new mouse that will cause everyone to have to rework their learned mouse-clicking skills that they had to relearn when they started using the MM from any of 1000 other more usable mice?

  1. web20lawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    trademark law

    Trademark registration is granted to the company which first uses the mark in commerce. The US does not have a first to register system. It is a first to use. This registration does not end the fight. The USPTO's decision is not a judicial decision. If Apple feels that it was first to use the mark in commerce, it may choose to file a suit in court. -- by online trademark lawyer --

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