Steve Jobs's Freakiest Trademarks

By Alexis C. Madrigal

From retail-store designs to iPhone packaging, Apple defends its unique identity

When Apple announces something new from a device (iPhone) to a slogan ("There's an app for that"), they never forget to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. So, earlier this month, Apple took out trademarks on the newly announced iCloud for every conceivable usage.

All big companies trademark a wide variety of things. Microsoft's trademarked "Lips," for example. Still, Steve Jobs' trademark admirable/insane attention to detail is on full display in this gallery of odd Apple trademarks. Take Apple's description of its iPhone packaging on the third slide: it's 265 words. The trademarks show how aggressively Apple wants to defend the differentiation of the look and feel of its devices, their packaging, and the stores in which they're sold.

And that specificity isn't idle fun for Apple's lawyers. The company launched a suit against Samsung for allegedly infringing on its trademarked icons and packaging earlier this year. When you're leading the field, as Apple is, protecting your innovations makes sense. On the other hand, Apple also trademarked the use of a glass cube for a retail store, as you can see below. As with so many Jobs productions, you can smell the control freakery in these filings.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/steve-jobss-freakiest-trademarks/240129/