Apple lost an appeal to protect its famous music icon after trademark judges ruled that consumers were likely to confuse it with a mark now owned by MySpace.

Apple music

Apple is used to getting its way when it comes to intellectual property. It came up short, however, in getting protection for its famous music icon after trademark judges said last week that consumers might confuse the mark with one owned my MySpace.

In a decision issued last Tuesday, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board upheld an examiner’s decision to refuse Apple trademark protection for the famous orange music mark that appears on iPhones and computer screens. It refused on the grounds that it was too similar to another mark:

The mark on the right was issued in 2008 to a music service called iLike which let users download and share music. MySpace obtained iLike in 2009 and shuttered it earlier this year, according to Wikipedia.

In its argument to the TTAB, Apple stated that not a single consumer has confused its music icon with the mark owned by MySpace. It also argued that the trademark was “weak” because eight other companies have obtained trademarks in the same field with music notes. The Board, however, dismissed these arguments and performed a “likelihood of confusion” analysis to conclude that an average consumer would muddle the marks:

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.

Apple can appeal the TTAB’s decision, which was first reported by Law 360 (sub req’d), to a federal district court. The company didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

You can read a highlighted version of the decision here:

Apple Ttab

  1. Total BS

  2. bobluchene@yahoo.com Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    What a shame apple fanboy is upset.To bad get a life.

    1. Too bad an Apple hater has so zero a life he has to comment on Apple again.

      1. Sucks that an Appletard has so little to do in his life that he has to battle with people on the internet.

        Ok, now do me!

  3. Right, every time i see that icon I think of a soon-to-be bankrupt MySpace that purchased a now-bankrupt iLike. lmao

  4. Actually once again its clear that Apple takes others work and infringes without intent to compensate. They sued Samsung over the exact same BS argument, that users were going to confuse a Samsung Galaxy phone with similar looking icons for an iPhone.

    So if you say this is BS for Apple to lose, then its BS that Apple won against Samsung. Can’t have it both ways and if Samsung had been smart or their lawyers had a clue they would have brought this case into the trial, perhaps in the retrial.

  5. According to Wikipedia? What?
    Wikipedia is not a person, and no original research is allowed on Wikipedia.

    Maybe find an original source?

  6. Use the Mac OSX iTunes icon

  7. Well I know that everytime I see a rectangle with rounded edges, I think of Apple.

  8. When it was obvious that nobody can confuse a Samsung device with an Apple one, fanboys were all crying “Theft”… Now, in a pretty similar situation, with much more limited implications, they are running amoc that somebody has treated Church of Apple in the same way…

  9. u gotta b kidding me..

  10. Apples argument that no one has confused the icons would also apply to Samsungs phones vs Apples phones. Can’t have it both ways Apple


Comments have been disabled for this post