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Apple abandons Newton trademark

updated 04:19 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2013

Failed PDA vanishes from Apple's records

Apple has abandoned claims to the Newton trademark, says Patently Apple. In searching through documents at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the site discovered that the CIPO deactivated the Canadian Newton trademark on February 12th. While Apple could still conceivably protect and use the Newton name in the US, the Canadian and US markets are so closely intertwined that this is unlikely.

The Newton was Apple's entry into the briefly-lived world of PDAs. While in some ways advanced for the time, the device was also widely criticized, particularly for poor handwriting recognition. The product was killed shortly Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1997.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Yet it seemed so cool...

    At the time, the Newton seemed like such an incredible device. As noted, however, the poor handwriting feature which was it's hallmark, doomed its success. Plus now it seems so big to handle!

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Trademark protection

    You need to be selling something in the trade to retain a Trademark, so that's probably why Apple didn't bother to renew. For a company the size of Apple, the cost of a renewal is trivial.

    If I'd been Apple's lawyers or marketing, however, I'd have found either an app or a series of minor products to attach the name. For instance, they turn their digital video adapters into a family of Newton adapters, complete with that light-bulb logo on each. That'd also distinguish their adapters from the knockoff companies.

    Newton is a great name even if the original product came up a bit short. I wouldn't let it slip away so easily.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Still got mine

    The handwriting recognition was fairly good in models after the MP120. I still have my MP130 and MP2000, both fully functional.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I don't have a Newton anymore to directly compare, but on the rare occasions I see someone manhandling one of those "phablet" phones I am reminded that Apple has been there, done that, and had better handwriting recognition then than Samsung has now. :)

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