Touch ID Trademark Denied For Reasons of Nomenclature

Come September, the world stands to embrace biometrics just a little bit further as Apple releases a new line of devices featuring its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The sensor, recently opened up to third party developers for use in apps, is said to be included on every non-iPod Apple-made mobile device slated for release in 2014, including two iPhone and two iPads.

Pervasiveness aside, Appleinsider reported this week that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied the company’s application for a trademark on Touch ID. The reason: it shares its name with an earlier trademark registered by Kronos, a time and attendance solutions provider.

Kronos was already granted trademark registration for its “Kronos Touch ID” biometric time keeping solution, originally released in 2005. Though the two technologies are nothing alike – Kronos’s Touch ID is used for employee time-punching while Apple’s is a smartphone access control feature – the USPTO asserts that the similarities would likely result in confusion between the properties.

The rejection letter can be read in full though the office’s website. Though the trademark was denied in May, the news only went public this week. Apple has until November 7, 2014, to respond to the denial. Though the company can dispute the Office’s decision, Appleinsider posits that the more likely route will be a licensing agreement with Kronos.

Earlier this week Mobile ID World reported on a rumor involving a production snag that might see one of the speculated iPhone 6 models (the larger one) pushed back to a 2015 release.