updated 05:38 pm EDT, Wed September 26, 2012
Rare defeat for Apple legal
Apple has been denied a trademark on the orange Music icon used in iOS and elsewhere, reports say. The US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is this week said to have upheld an examiner's decision on the matter, arguing that Apple's logo is too similar to a trademark owned by MySpace. In 2008 a mark for an orange logo with a musical note was awarded to music tracking service iLike. MySpace bought iLike in 2009, but ended up closing the outfit earlier this year.
Apple attempted a two-pronged argument with the TTAB, claiming that no one had been confused between the two icons, and that the MySpace trademark was "weak" because eight other companies in the same field had won marks featuring musical notes. The TTAB dismissed Apple's position, performing a "likelihood of confusion" test. "In view of the facts that the marks are similar, the goods and services are related and are encountered by the same classes of consumers, we find that applicant's double musical note and design for 'computer software [..]' is likely to cause confusion with the registered mark comprising a double musical note and design [..] for listening to MP3's and for sharing MP3's and music playlists with others," the board ruled.
The decision can be appealed, but no such motion has been filed yet.