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Apple loses multi-touch fight for iPhone/iPad

Apple loses multi-touch fight for iPhone/iPad

Apple’s pursuit for ownership of the term 'multi-touch' has at long last come to an end, after its appeal against a rejected application was declined.

The Cupertino-based giant applied for the trademark in 2007 when it unveiled the original iPhone, but was refused by the US Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds that the term was too descriptive.

Although the phone-maker appealed against the decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board have upheld it, claiming there is insufficient evidence to declare 'multi-touch' a proprietary term.

The board explained: “The examining attorney maintains that 'multi-touch' is 'highly descriptive' and identifies a type of touchscreen interface which 'allows a user to manipulate and control the functions of an electronic device by using more than one finger simultaneously'

"Simply because the applied-for term has been used in association with a highly successful product does not mean the term has acquired distinctiveness.”

According to intel dug up by 9to5Mac, 'multi-touch' has been used as a generic term long before the iPhone was even announced. Jeff Han of New York University mentioned it on several occasions in his papers dating back to 2005 and before and even demonstrated how the input method works on TED Talks a year before Apple applied for the trademark.



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