Apple gets 'Lion' trademark at last

If need a moniker for an operating system, don't name it after the king of beasts. The Cupertino company gets the trademark for its computer software.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you're naming an operating system, best to avoid the word "Lion." You might find yourself in court, facing Apple.

The U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks has approved the Cupertino company's trademark, giving Apple rights to the name for its "computer operating system and application development tool software." The trademark is spelled with a capital "L" followed by lowercase letters.

Apple filed the request on April 6, 2011, a few months before it filed for "OS X MOUNTAIN LION" and "MOUNTAIN LION." Neither of the later trademarks have been approved.

Not only is Apple known as a proprietary company, it doesn't hold back from litigation over its trademarks. For instance, it filed suit against Amazon last year over the term "App Store," which Apple trademarked after releasing the iPhone 3G.

This was afterApple's lengthy battle with Apple Corps, the Beatles' holding company and owner of the band's record label, over trademark issues -- a matter of dispute that was finally settled just last week.