Apple Denied Trademark Request in the U.S. For “Multi-Touch”

The day that Apple introduced the original iPhone, on January 9, 2007, it filed for a trademark on the term “multi-touch” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. When their request was denied, the Cupertino-based company appealed the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. MacRumors notes that the appeal board has chosen to uphold the decision originally made by the USPTO, because of the descriptiveness of the phrase “multi-touch.”

For trademarks, “the greater the degree of descriptiveness the term has, the heavier the burden to prove it has attained secondary meaning.” The trademark attorney pointed out that the term “multitouch” has taken on generic meaning, being used by a wide variety of publications to describe the touchscreen technology on Android phones, tablets, and notebooks.


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