For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Applications for "There's an App"


Registering "There's an app for that" was a piece of cake
in the US, but Europe may prove more resistant
Matthew Rippon was first.  Lawrence Ryz was last.  Between the two there were many kind souls who sent the IPKat this link to Apple's latest venture into the world of trade mark protection.  The Unofficial Apple Weblog ("Apple trademarks "There's an app for that", here) has spotted the  iToys-to-die-for company's US trade mark for the slogan "There's an app for that."  To be fair to Apple, (i) that tagline has been used to promote Apple's App Store and iOS devices almost since their inception, and (ii) Apple doesn't really have much credible competition anyway in the minds of many consumers, who assume that "App" is just the first three letters of Apple.  Indeed, in some parts of this noble planet, the Kat understands, the slogan has become a jokey colloquialism-cum-conversation-booster, frequently deployed by people when they can't think of a sensible response to what someone else has just said to them. The trade mark, for which Apple filed on 4 December 2009, covers
"Retail store services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics".
Intrigued to see what Apple might be planning on the Eastern side of the Pond, the IPKat checked the warm and user-friendly online search facility of the UK's Intellectual Property Office, where he was rewarded with details of International Madrid (EU) Trade Mark U00001043881 (first designation of the EU for IR 1043881).  Opting for English as its first language and Italian as the second, the applicant boldly went for protection in Classes 09, 35, 38, 42.

The IPKat is genuinely sad that Apple has been so precise and selective in its list of goods and services.  He had hoped that the Cupertino company would be registering its slogan for ashtrays, knitting patterns, meat cleavers and all the other strange things that get inadvertently left in trade mark applications these days -- but it was not to be.  The big question, though, is whether we dull and unimaginative Europeans, on looking at the words "There's an app for that", would ever think "Gosh, that's an indication as to the identity of the origin of goods and services in respect which that slogan is used", rather than "Oh, I suppose there it ..."

Contributions of "There's an app for that" to the cultural enrichment of humanity here, here and here

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, I'd always simply assumed that "app" was an short name for "application", and I'd completely failed to notice that it was also the first three letters of "Apple". One more to chalk up in the "obvious things it's possible not to notice" category.

Anonymous said...

This is badly off topic, but if we're talking "obvious things it's possible not to notice" I'd like to nominate the arrows in the Fedex and Amazon ("a to z") logos.

Ron said...

I thought the same as Anon #1. "App" seemed to be so obviously a snazzy contraction of a wholly descriptive word that I doubt I would have noticed the association with Apple if it hadn't been pointed out.

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