Apparently Apple doesn’t always win when it comes to intellectual property law.
A lot of people may think that MySpace is irrelevant, and for the most part it is, but apparently it can still impact other big companies. Thanks to a trademarked image of a music icon on MySpace, Apple has been rejected by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
The picture that appears on iPhones and iPads looks too much like that MySpace trademark, the board said. Apple had already been told that it couldn’t own a trademark for its graphic, but it appealed that decision. The recent ruling upheld that original decision.
“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,” the board explained in its ruling.
This isn’t the end of the road for Apple. It can appeal this new decision, if a federal district court is willing to hear its argument. However, the odds of such a court reversing something as procedural as a trademark decision are exceedingly low.
Of course, Apple just scored a huge intellectual property victory over Samsung so it’s probably not too worried about this comparatively minimal ordeal.