• What is a "Magic Trackpad?"

    Sometimes I think that Apple knows how much the press and blogs like to follow its every move, and throws fake clues out there. This is one of those times.

    Apple applied this week for a trademark on the term “Magic Trackpad.” According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company identified the product or products that the trademark might cover as being any one of the following:

    Computers; computer software; computer operating system software; computer utility software; computer hardware; computer peripherals; scanners; touchscreens; keyboards; computer mice; trackballs; trackpads; touchpads; light pens; joysticks; game controllers; graphics tablets; digitizers; cables and connectors; flash memory drives; USB drives; solid state storage devices; barcode readers.
    A reasonable inference is that the Magic Trackpad - building on the Magic Mouse name - would be an external multitouch trackpad that would work with desktop computers or laptops with ordinary touch-sensitive trackpads. Since MacBooks currently have multitouch trackpads built in, and it wouldn't really make sense for Apple to trademark a new name for old products, it's unlikely it would refer to those devices. There had been rumors late last year that Apple was getting ready to bring such a peripheral to market, but no product emerged. Apple has been putting a lot of focus on touch and gestural interfaces lately, however.

    Of course, Apple could just be "trademark squatting" to prevent any other companies from claiming the name. Patently Apple notes that Apple already claimed the name in a filing with the tiny island nation of Trinidad and Tobago: "application number 41309, filed 08/24/2009."

    They could just be messing with us, though. Seriously: "flash drives?" "Barcode readers?"
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