Apple Trademark Suggests Gaming


Apple Computer recently sought to expand its trademark
protection into a new class of goods: gaming. The proposed expansion of its
preexisting federal trademark has many in the industry wondering what Apple has
planned. Some of the attempted protections are:


hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held
units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games
other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game
machines; electronic educational game machines; toys, namely battery-powered
computer games.


This does not appear to be competition to the Sony
Playstation or Nintendo Wii, for example, which are designed for use with
televisions. Rather, it appears to be an attempt to protect the mark in
“mobile” gaming.


Does this mean that Apple intends to compete with the PSPs
of the world? Probably. Apple filed its request under a 1(b) trademark status,
which is defined as a mark applying for protection when the applicant “intends
to use” the mark in commerce, as opposed to having a present use in commerce.
Given that the sought protection does not cover a product or service currently
in the marketplace, the smart money suggests that we will be seeing a new
portable gaming device from Apple shortly.

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