Apple Trademarks

Apple Inc, also known as the Apple Computer Company, was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Wayne, an Atari veteran, agreed to become a co-founder of the company in return for a 10% stake. However, within two weeks, he sold his stake back to apple for $800 and left, leaving apple to the ”two Steves”.

The company began to grow in July of 1976 when the Apple I went on sale as an assembled circuit board for $666.66, though Wozniak later denied knowing the correlation between the number and ”the mark of the beast”.

Apple - likely the most well known example of the ability to trademark a word that's part of common language.

The Apple I computer had notable features that made it a commercial success, and Jobs began looking for investments to expand further. The idea of ordinary people needing computers was considered ”absurd”. In August of the same year, the two Steves secured over $300,000 of investment into Apple, and growth became exponential. The Apple II computer, another commercial success, would launch in 1977. The Apple II was one of the ”1977 trinity”, computers credited with creating the home computer market.

Several different versions of the Apple II were sold, including the Apple IIGS. The series was finally discounted in 1993 and gave way to the more successful Apple III series.

In December of 1980, Apple went public selling at $22 per share and generated more than $100, which was more capital than any IPO since Ford in 1956.

Apple made considerable progress in the computer market. However, it was the iPod/handheld device market where they really succeeded.

In October of 2001, Apple introduced its first iPod. Since then, it evolved into an array of products, including the now-discontinued Mini, Shuffle, iPod classic, iPod Nano, and still in use iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone.

In 2005, Steve Jobs reported that the company’s share of the entire portable music device market stood at 76% after they’d wrestled market dominance away from Walkman.

The iPod gave a massive boost to Apple’s finances; during the year of its launch, Apple’s sales were over a billion dollars for the first time ($3.23 billion).

The following Apple product to cause a similar stir would be the iPhone, with the first-gen iPhone being released in 2007. In 2008, the iPhone 3G became available, and the iPhone 3GS followed a year later. The 12-month launch cycle has continued since. Over 55 million iPhones have been sold since their inception. Major iOS upgrades are launched simultaneously, and the most recent upgrade is iOs 13.

The Apple iPad was announced in January of 2010 and has since grown to take a significant market share, with it being reported by T4 that Apple has had a 34% share of the tablet market since the launch of the iPad Air.

Apple has consistently remained at the top of innovation, with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max launching in 2020, the first iPhones to support 5G. Other notable products include the Apple Watch, Apple TV, Airpods, iMac, and more. While they’ve lost some market share to their Android competitors, overall, Apple continues to dominate.

In 2020, Apple’s stock price hovered around $170 per share. Apple has impressive financial prowess; in 2011, Apple’s financial reserves were more significant than the operating cash balance of the US treasury. As of 2021, Apple is worth an eye-watering $2 Trillion, and Apple has over 500 retail stores across 25 different countries. Apple has more than 150,000 workers as of 2021.

Famous Apple Trademarks

With such a significant market share and assets at risk, it’s evident that Apple has more than a few registered trademarks. Intellectual property can be worth billions, so let’s take a look at a few of apple’s trademarked brands. (We’ve also written about the history of the main Apple trademark.)

Apple Logo

The trademarked Apple Logo (An apple with a bite missing from it) was first used in 1977 and referenced the original logo, which features Isaac Newton sitting beneath a tree. The trademark has been filed for the following categories:

  • Computer hardware, computer software, consumer electronic devices, wireless communication devices.
  • Smartwatches.
  • Development software.
  • Computer monitors.
  • Software for navigation.
  • Operating system software.
  • Mobile communication devices, including cellphones.

The primary Apple Logo has also been incorporated into other trademarks, such as the Apple News, Apple Store, Apple Music, and AppleCare logos.

iCloud wordmark.

iCloud is a cloud storage, email, and cloud computing service that was launched in October of 2011. As of 2018, the service had an estimated 850 million users. The wordmark covers the following categories:

  • The electronic storage of data, text, images, audio, and video.
  • Handheld units for playing electronic games to be used with an external display screen or monitor.
  • Electronic transmission, retrieval of data, images, audio, video, and documents.
  • Uploading, downloading, storage, backing up, receiving, or accessing data, including emails, documents, images, audio, and video.

macOS

macOS is the primary operating system for Mac’s computers; within the desktop and laptop computers market, it is the second most widely used desktop OS after Microsoft windows. The first use was in 1994, and the wordmark covers the following areas:

  • Computer operating system software.
  • Digital media software.
  • Publications such as manuals, guides, and newsletters related to the use of computers.

Macbook

The Macbook is a brand of Macintosh laptop computers that merged with Powerbook and iBook lines when Apple transitioned to using Intel processors. MacBooks are relatively popular, selling an average of 25+ Million per year. An application was filed with the trademark office in 2006. The trademark applies to the following areas:

  • Computer peripherals.
  • Operating system software.
  • Notebook computers and computers.
  • Computer hardware.

Super Retina XDR

Retina Display has been used as a brand name by Apple for its series of IPS LCD and OLED displays that have an increased pixel density. Apple registered the term ”Retina” as a trademark and Super Retina XDR wordmark. The trademark, which dates to 2020, covers the following areas:

  • Computers and display screens.
  • Cellphone screens.
  • Handheld mobile digital electronic devices.
  • Handheld computer.
  • Personal digital assistants.
  • Electronic personal organizer and notepad.

Apple Music

Apple Music is a music streaming service, and users select music to stream to their device on-demand or peruse and listen to existing playlists. The service was announced on June 8, 2015, and launched on June 30, 2015. The service has branched into internet radio stations such as Apple Music Hits. Apple owns the wordmark, which is valid for the following categories:

  • Computer software includes customized audio, video, and other multimedia content recommendations.
  • Computer software for creating and sharing playlists of audio and multimedia files.
  • Music videos and performances.
  • Entertainment and educational resources.

Wrapping Up

It’s pretty simple to protect your company and prevent competitors from taking credit for your hard work, marketing and reputation. By submitting a trademark application and receiving the exclusive rights to use the material it pertains to, you can protect yourself from trademark infringement.

Apple is a large technology company famous for its products, namely the iPhone, iPod, Mac, and other products. Apple has a tremendous brand value – estimated to be over $100 Billion. Part of this value is a wealth of intellectual property. Apple has over 1,000 registered service marks.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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