Apple expands Mac Pro trademark to include augmented reality tech

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The Magic Toolbar could be a baby step toward augmented reality.
Could augmented reality tech arrive on a future Mac Pro?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple updated its Mac Pro trademark to include “augmented reality displays, goggles, controllers, headsets, and 3D spectacles,” alongside a range of other categories.

The additions come shortly after Apple acknowledged that its current Mac Pro doesn’t fulfill all the needs of its pro customers, promising that a new model with a modular design is currently in the works.

With some very interesting features, if this trademark update is to be believed!

Don’t get too excited, however, as Apple frequently updates its trademarks to cover a broad range of categories — even when it doesn’t necessarily plan to use all of them. This is done for a variety of reasons. For example, Apple often renews trademarks such as its iconic “Think Different” tagline or PowerBook name in order to stop them from falling into rivals’ hands.

Apple trademark strategy

MacBook Pro augmented reality
Apple has been working on related patents for years.
Photo: USPTO/Apple

Even if Apple doesn’t plan to launch a pair of Mac Pro augmented reality glasses, it’s been involved in enough frivolous lawsuits over other companies’ decision to launch, for example, a wallet called “iPhone” to know that it needs to protect its creations.

Apple may also expand trademarks, just like it files patents, to mislead the competition about what it plans to do.

Apple’s augmented reality plans

Still, the augmented reality filing is attention-grabbing because of numerous reports that AR is an area Apple’s interested in. At present, Apple reportedly has a team of hundreds of engineers working on augmented reality tech, including former employees from Dolby Laboratories, Oculus and HoloLens, alongside special effects folks from Hollywood.

So far, most of the stories have focused on possible mobile devices, with AR initially being mentioned as a feature for an upcoming iPhone. However, Apple also has various patents related to Minority Report-style augmented reality interfaces that would allow users to interact with their devices using gestures.

Once again we stress that this is not necessarily something Apple will do. But if you’re the kind of person who enjoys “connecting the dots” between Apple’s every move, here is a comparison of the Mac Pro trademark copy:

Mac Pro trademark 2006:

“Computers; computer hardware; computer software; computer peripherals; notebook computers; laptop computers; tablet computers; computer servers; handheld computers; mobile computers; hard drives; audio speakers; speakers for computers; personal digital assistants; electronic organizers; electronic notepads; magnetic data carriers; computer gaming machines; microprocessors; memories boards; monitors; displays; keyboards; computer input devices; computer cables; modems; printers; parts and accessories for all the aforesaid goods.”

Mac Pro trademark 2017:

“Computers; computer hardware; handheld computers; tablet computers; telecommunications apparatus and instruments; wireless communication devices for the transmission of voice, data, images, audio, video, and multimedia content; network communication apparatus; computer software; computer software for setting up, configuring, operating and controlling computers, computer peripherals, mobile devices, mobile telephones, smartwatches, smartglasses, wearable devices, earphones, headphones, televisions, set top boxes, audio and video players and recorders, home theater systems, and entertainment systems; application development software; computer game software; downloadable pre-recorded audio, video and multimedia content; computer peripheral devices; peripheral devices for computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, televisions, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; biometric identification and authentication apparatus; monitors, display screens, head mounted displays, and headsets for use with computers, smartphones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smartglasses, televisions, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; virtual and augmented reality displays, goggles, controllers, and headsets; 3D spectacles; cameras; flashes for cameras; keyboards, mice, mouse pads, printers, disk drives, and hard drives; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital audio and video players and recorders; audio speakers; audio amplifiers and receivers; voice recording and voice recognition apparatus; earphones; headphones; microphones; televisions; television receivers and monitors; remote controls for controlling computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, set top boxes, speakers, amplifiers, home theatre systems, and entertainment systems; wearable devices for controlling computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, smart watches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, set top boxes, speakers, amplifiers, home theatre systems, and entertainment systems; data storage apparatus; computer chips; batteries; battery chargers; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, and adapters for use with computers, mobile telephones, handheld computers, computer peripherals, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, and set top boxes; interactive touchscreens; interfaces for computers, computer screens, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, televisions, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; protective films adapted for computer screens, mobile telephone screens, and smartwatch screens; parts and accessories for computers, computer peripherals, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, and set top boxes; covers, bags, cases, sleeves, straps and lanyards for computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smartwatches, smartglasses, earphones, headphones, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders.”

Source: Patently Apple