Apple Now Has Its Own Sound Barrier

Have you ever picked up your iPhone to ask Siri® a question and wondered if those familiar iOS beeping sounds are protected by one or more federally registered non-traditional trademarks?  Of course you have.  Well, wonder no more—as the iPelton® blog reports, Apple owns numerous non-traditional trademark registrations for product designs, icons, screen displays, store layouts, and yes, sounds (see an earlier post on sound trademarks here).  For example, the soothing, synthetic sound of Siri’s voice is invariably accompanied by the sounds of U.S. Registration No. 4689043, for “a synthesized bell tone playing a G#5 sixteenth note, followed by another G#5 sixteenth note,” and its companion No. 4689044, for “a synthesized bell tone playing a C#5 sixteenth note, followed by another C#5 sixteenth note.”

Lest users of Mac OS computers feel unprotected (or worse, slighted), Apple also took the trouble of federally registering its venerable Mac OS startup chime as No. 4257783, which, for the curious, “consists of a synthesizer playing a slightly flat, by approximately 30 cents, G flat/F sharp major chord.”  Since these sound marks were in use long before Apple became the most valuable company in the universe, it is possible to conclude that the three registrations for these marks are almost single-soundedly responsible for the company’s meteoric rise and vaunted position in the annals of capitalism.  Or maybe it was mostly product design and marketing.  In any event, anyone who tries to use Apple's registered sounds without authorization is likely to receive a sonic boom from the company's lawyers.  Hear the registered sound marks below, and see the three registrations here, and here, and hereReposted from the iPelton® blog.

 By matt buchanan (originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

By matt buchanan (originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.