Apple has gained a lot of popularity through Touch ID on the iPhone 5s. For those that haven’t tried it, this is merely another fingerprint scanner, but for those of us that have, it’s really the only fingerprint scanner that works reliably. Sadly it seems that Apple will have to consider new names for the feature, as the USPTO isn’t planning to concede Apple’s trademark application.
According to the USPTO, an already existing “Kronos Touch ID” trademark that was granted since 2001, and that also has to do with fingerprint scanners could lead customers into confusion. The statement reads:
“USPTO states that “Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant.
In this case, the following factors are the most relevant: similarity of the marks, similarity of the goods and/or services, and similarity of trade channels of the goods and/or services.”
Apple has six months to respond to the UPSTO about the denial, or this application would be terminated, and Apple would be forced to change the name Touch ID to something else once this happens. It’s odd to imagine that such a powerful company couldn’t see this coming, but we’ve also seen cases where applicants and affected companies decide to bargain for some money. We’ll see how this plays out in Apple’s next event, where the iPad is rumored to get the feature.