Apple has trademarked many things over the years, from the names of its products to the term “App Store,” and it’s faced many legal battles due to trademark lawsuits. But it’ll be hard to contest Apple’s latest trademark, which we’re guessing long-time Mac users will instantly know when they listen to the video below. It’s none other than Mac’s startup chime that’s been used on the majority of Mac computers since it was made in 1991.
The startup chime has been tweaked a few times since the 1990’s, but in spite of the obvious differences in pitch (as demonstrated in the clip below), it has remained largely the same throughout its lifetime. The chime was created by former Apple programmer Jim Reekes, who was also responsible for the old Sosumi Mac sound. The Sosumi Mac sound has a very interesting back story that involves Apple’s legal dispute against the Beatles-owned multimedia company, Apple Corps.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office lists Mac’s startup chime as a “sensory mark” and describes it as a “sound mark consisting of a slightly flat (by approximately 30 cents) G flat/F sharp major chord.” Interestingly enough, the startup chime actually denotes that diagnostic tests are running and that no hardware or software problems are affecting the system . The Trademark Office also made the chime available for download (warning: the link immediately downloads the MP3 file to your computer) if, for some reason, you want to listen to it on repeat.