Apple has referred to its standard issue mouse as a “Mighty Mouse” since 2005, but a recent ruling from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) might mean that Apple will have to start coming up with an alternative name for its mouse sometime soon.
The “Mighty Mouse” moniker is by no means an Apple invention, as anyone who grew up watching the cartoon series Mighty Mouse can attest to. For the past 4 years, Apple has licensed the right to use the name from CBS, the owner of the Mighty Mouse trademark. But the catch is that the original trademark owned by CBS doesn’t encompass computer peripherals, meaning that CBS wasn’t really authorized to license the name to Apple in the first place.
So who the hell owns it, you might be wondering.
Well, the USPTO recently granted official registration of the Mighty Mouse trademark to Man & Machine CEO Clifton Broumand, whose company released a water proof mouse under the same name in 2004, months before Apple’s Mighty Mouse was introduced.
Apple, of course, could still license the name from Broumand himself, but that doesn’t seem too likely. Besides, Apple is rumored to be hard at work putting the finishing touches on a brand new mouse that will reportedly do away with the pesky scroll ball and replace it with a multi-touch surface, a’la the iPhone. In fact, FTC blueprints for such a device were actually uncovered by Engadget last week.
Broumand, though, is undoubtedly busy celebrating as we speak. In a statement issued to the press earlier today, he stated:
Others have used the name Mighty Mouse for their computer mice and have sought registration of that trademark, but now the United States government has spoken. We look forward to the continuation and expansion of the Mighty Mouse line of waterproof mice.
Oh woops, my bad, I just got caught up in the patriotic fervor of Broumand’s message.
In any event, it’s about time that Apple’s Mighty Mouse fade into the sunset. When the mouse worked, it worked well, but when the scroll ball started to stick (as it often did), well let’s just say that it’s time for Apple to move on to bigger and better things.
A new mouse calls for a new name, and the timing couldn’t be any better.