Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has handed down a decision that Apple will be denied an application for a trademark on the term Multi-Touch. This trademark was applied for on January 9th 2007, the day that Apple introduced the iPhone.
Apple was denied the initial trademark application and the company then appealed to the Appeal Board, which then lead to the board upholding the refusal and granting Apple the trademark.
It is known that for trademarks, “the greater the degree of descriptiveness the term has, the heavier the burden to prove it has attained secondary meaning.” The attorney working on the case of the multi-touch trademark, pointed that the term has been taken to mean a device with touchscreen, and it has been used not just by Apple but also by Android for its phones, tablets and notebooks.
We also can add to this that multi touch does not only describe the device but it describes how the user will use the device and how it will operate. Depending on the information that we have received and has been stated about we agree that the term Multi-touch is a descriptive term that is highly descriptive and fits perfectly to the feature of the identified goods.
There is a list of items that can determin the acquired distinctiveness, this includes sales success, length and exclusivity of use, and advertising expenditures. The main point that Apple had not met the burden to be granted a trademark on multi-touch.