MacNN | Current Mac startup chime receives trademark from USPTO
Mac News Network View: Standard | Headlines | Categorized | Slim
Mac News Network
Mac News iPod News Reviews Forums
 

Desktop Headlines
Current Mac startup chime receives trademark from USPTO
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 6:06pm

While musical notes themselves cannot be patented, a combination of notes and realization of them that form a distinct and recognizable sound can be -- and the US Patent and Trademark Office has now officially granted a registered trademark to Apple for the current (and in use since 1999) startup chime. The sound turns out to be a slightly flat G flat/F sharp combination, according to the trademark application Apple filed in June, as noted by Patently Apple.



The sound was created by Apple programmer Jim Reekes, who has created many of the chimes heard over the years. Musicians such as guitarist Stanley Jordan and producer Brian Eno have been involved in the creation of startup sounds, which they say are actually quite complex compositions despite their brevity -- because the companies creating them want the sound to evoke a number of emotions and mental images, while still being incredibly short. Eno, who described his Windows 95 startup as "a little jewel" that needed 84 drafts before it was accomplished, claimed that Microsoft had sent a list of "about 150" adjectives, ranging from "futuristic" and "optimistic" to "sexy." He was also limited to no more than 3.8 seconds. Mac startup chimes are generally much shorter still. Stanley Jordan once told an interviewer that he spent a whole day in a studio before hitting on the chord that would become the signature sound of the Power Mac 6100 and other Mac models released in 1994 and 1995. Jordan, who popularized "tapping" notes directly from the fret as a guitar technique, used a 12-string acoustic guitar tuned in all-fourths to create the sound, which was used for around a year before reverting back to the previous Reekes composition. In addition to its original function of letting users know that the audio system was working, startup chimes have also been used on Macs to indicate that RAM has been checked, and an off-key sound signifies that there is a issue preventing startup (such as lack of RAM or a hardware failure). The trademark is in the form of a "sensory mark" rather than a traditional trademark due to its musical nature.

Comments on this Article
Print Friendly Version
Email to a Friend
Add MacNN to Your RSS Feeds
Buy from the Apple Store


Related Stories:

Today's MacNN Stories:

  • Apple TV gets promised FX Now app channel - 4:09 PM EST
  • Samsung exiting Europe PC market; sales continue in US, elsewhere - 4:00 PM EST
  • Apple may rebrand Beats Music in February, rumors hint - 3:34 PM EST
  • Briefly: Cooler Master Novatouch TKL keyboard, Grid 2 OS X release - 3:10 PM EST
  • Canon launches five models in new Maxify inkjet line, with AirPrint - 2:11 PM EST
  • iPhone 6 Plus bending in pockets, some users complain - 1:42 PM EST
  • Square CEO: Apple Pay, Bitcoin payments included in future register - 1:06 PM EST
  • Forums: Palm Pilots? (un)predictive text? iOS 8 internet problems? - 1:00 PM EST
  • Apple deals: MacBook Air from $769, MacBook Pro and iMac from $929 - 12:55 PM EST
  • iOS 8.0.1 to deal with bugs in Phone, iCloud Keychain, Safari - 12:52 PM EST
  • Bipartisan bill seeks to clarify overseas data warrant requirements - 12:38 PM EST
  • DealNN: MacBook Air, HP printer and more - 12:26 PM EST
  • Apple Watch will be able to control Apple TV, says Cook - 11:35 AM EST
  • Briefly: Evernote for Mac update, VUE and PlantFactory 2014.6 - 11:29 AM EST
  • EU anti-trust chief officially demands more from Google settlement - 11:07 AM EST
  • Chinese approval of iPhone 6 should be 'completed soon' - 10:51 AM EST
  • Comcast to FCC: Plenty of competition, no reason to block TWC merger - 9:55 AM EST
  • Official Apple stats put iOS 8 adoption at 46 percent of devices - 9:45 AM EST
  • New iPhone 6 models best the competition, analysis sites say - 1:55 AM EST

    Today's iPodNN Stories:
  • Google to spend $772 million on data center in the Netherlands - 3:58 PM EST
  • Bitcoin hardware firm Butterfly Labs sued by FTC over fraud - 1:40 PM EST
  • Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter revealed with Miracast streaming - 12:26 PM EST
  • AT&T targets cord-cutters with $40 basic TV, HBO, Amazon Prime bundle - 11:33 AM EST
  • Vizio opens pre-orders for P-Series Ultra HD televisions - 9:35 AM EST
  • No comments posted on this story yet. Please post yours.
    Your Comments
    In order to post comments, you must be a registered member of the MacNN Forums and logged in. Please login with your MacNN Forums username and password.

    MacNN Forums Login:

    MacNN Forums Password:

    Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.