USPTO refuses to give Apple a trademark for Touch ID

USPTO refuses to give Apple a trademark for Touch ID
The USPTO has sent a letter out to Apple, explaining why the agency will not grant the company a trademark for "Touch ID". The latter is the feature which employs a fingerprint scanner to validate the identity of someone using a specific Apple iPhone 5s unit. The scanner, embedded in the home button, will unlock the phone when the fingerprint of the person pressing the home button, matches the fingerprint stored in memory that belongs to the owner of the device. Touch ID can also verify the identity of the phone's owner when a purchase is being made from iTunes.

As wonderful an addition to the phone as Touch ID might be, the USPTO says that granting Apple a patent for the title might cause too much confusion because of the similarly named Kronos Touch ID. The USPTO says that its rules bar it from allowing a trademark to be issued in the situation where "a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant." Touch ID sounds too much like the already registered Kronos Touch ID, as it merely removes the Kronos brand from the name. That does not appease the powers that be at the USPTO.

Still, Apple being Apple, where there is a few million bucks or so, there's a way. The USPTO is giving Apple until November to resolve this issue, or it must rename the feature. A cash poor company in the same situation might decide it best to change the name to something that doesn't come close to Touch ID. But Apple CEO Tim Cook has the luxury of opening the ol' Apple checkbook and throwing millions at Kronos in exchange for the rights to the name. You might recall that Apple paid Proview $60 million for the rights to the iPad name in China. In that case, Apple mistakenly thought it had already purchased the rights to the name from another Proview subsidiary. But that unit only had rights to the name in Taiwan.

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, it had a three year battle to get the name from Cisco in the U.S. and Comwave in Canada. With the November deadline from the USPTO staring it right in the face, it shouldn't take anywhere near that long for Apple to decide how it will try to keep the Touch ID name. The feature is expected to be a part of all 2014 Apple iOS launches, including both phones and tablets.

source: PatentlyApple



1. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Must have missed a payment.

2. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

why apple always mistakenly think those thing which are in their favor? why not any mistake when it comes to its own paten law suits? few days back apple mistakenly use patents related to Siri voice assistance and mistakenly they didnt realised it or mistakenly foesnt use it at all

4. Darxicus

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 08, 2013

Sure, that makes sense

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Surely Apple didn't googled those brand name before implementing.

17. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

They're we're not able to google it cause safari keeps on crashing. I thought USPTO denied it completely but instead they give more time to apple to resubmit their application . So unbiased ....

3. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

They need a more sophisticated bribing technique.

6. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

For once the USPTO acutally did something smart. they are alot of companies that uses finger print scanners. so APPLE stop being greedy

10. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

They're not asking for a patent on the technology for fingerprint sensors just a trademark on what they call their implementation. Oh, by the way, your bias is showing.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31328; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Isn't it odd, he didn't understand that?

13. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

His hate for Apple is so strong it overpowered his ability to comprehend what he read.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31328; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol, yes it does man.

7. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Absolutely don't grant them the trademark, but why should they have to change the feature name? That seems excessive.

8. engineer-1701d unregistered

just like there are stupid people out there that think I Pad is the only tablet that's madethey will also think that Apple made touch ID and that they are the only company that has touch ID

16. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

The feature that they mastered. Samsungs was released way after and is still garbage. Absolute garbAge lol. Another reason I didn't upgrade to S5 from S3.

9. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Hahaha Lmfao Patent troll

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31328; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple, just buy the name, and be done with it. You're the Big Dawg of tech.

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