Apple Attempts To Trademark Its Music Icon, But Myspace Got There First

Apple Attempts To Trademark Its Music Icon, But Myspace Got There First

The Music app on iPad.

Almost everything Apple creates is patented and trademarked in an effort to ensure that other companies can’t steal its ideas (though they do). However, sometimes the folks in Cupertino hit a stumbling block. That’s what happened when Apple attempted to trademark its Music app icon recently, only to find that Myspace got there first.

Apple introduced the Music app to iOS last year with iOS 5, splitting music and videos into dedicated apps and killing off the iPod app that had been pre-installed on the iPhone since the original made its debut in 2007. The new icon features a music note — similar to that on the iTunes icon — emblazoned onto a fiery orange background.

Apple Attempts To Trademark Its Music Icon, But Myspace Got There First

Unfortunately for Apple, trademark judges feel the icon is too similar to a logo owned by Myspace, which also features a music note on an orange background. As you can see from the image above, they’re vastly different to anyone with remotely good vision. But judges feel that consumers may confuse the two.

The report read:

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.

Myspace’s logo originally belonged to a music service called iLike, which was acquired by the social network in 2009, then shuttered earlier this year, according to Gizmodo.

  • fathom90

    the judge has a point – i can barely tell the two apart….

  • KillianBell

    the judge has a point – i can barely tell the two apart….

    Really?!

  • Kevin Hancox

    the judge has a point – i can barely tell the two apart….

    I can’t either, and now the door is open for MySpace to sue Apple for breaching there trademark….! That must be worth at least $2 per device surely… What a payday… Haha

  • Jonathan Ober

    putting a music note, which has been around for a very long time, on a colored background is trademark-able?? yep the system seems broken…also what is this myspace people keep referring to haha…myspace…haha…that is so ’05

  • mr_bee

    Good. It’s ugly anyway. Now they can think up something better.

  • Len Williams

    This is a partial article. What is supposed to happen as a result of this ruling? Is Apple appealing? Does Apple have to change its icon? Is Apple paying a licensing fee to MySpace? And, as a graphic designer I don’t find a confusion in any way between the 2 designs. If anything should be in the public domain, it’s the note symbol to signify music. Possibly a simple color change of the background would do it. The new iPod nano’s music icon has a blue background, and so does the iTunes icon that sits in the dock on OS X (although I dislike the circular icons and prefer the round cornered square designs).

  • Cgs101

    Apple’s icon is just awful. I still can’t get used to it.

  • Amr Kal

    Apple’s music icon was ‘not’ introduced last year for the first time with iOS 5. It’s true that it only showed up on iPhones and iPad with iOS 5, but it was there from the first generation iPod touch. So it dates back to 2007. But like other commenters have already pointed out, it’s an ugly icon, and Apple can come do much better that.

  • Angeluskarl

    is this the only way Myspace can get revenue now?? As no one uses the site and they generate very little from advertising?

  • hanhothi

    Another example of Apple copying other people. I guess they cannot try to sue MySpace now, can they!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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