The Mighty Mouse is, of course, that hockey-puck looking contraption that Apple passes off as a mouse. I like Apple computers, but I personally find the Mighty Mouse to be anything but mighty. That said, “Man and Machine” disagrees so much they’re going after the mighty Apple.
It comes down to trademark infringement. Man and Machine say they were marketing an input device called “Mighty Mouse” a year before Apple released the hockey puck. Their mouse was waterproof and chemical resistant and all around, well, mighty.
Apple licensed the term “mighty mouse” from CBS because CBS used it to refer to their little animated superhero version of Mickey. So, Apple licenses it from CBS, and three years later, “Man and Machine” says they own it and files a lawsuit against both Apple and CBS.
Apple’s Mighty Mouse was released back in August of 2005. That’s almost three years ago and only NOW does this no-name company come out and complain. No doubt the lawyers got to this little company with dollar signs in their eyes. Perhaps they’re looking to get a settlement out of Apple – an easy payday.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple simply didn’t even know about Man and Machine. With a crap name like that, who would. However, if Apple bothered to actually license the name from CBS, they no doubt were cognizant of the legal side of using the name. My guess is that Man and Machine didn’t hold a valid trademark. Otherwise a simple search would have brought it to Apple’s attention.
Source: 9 to 5 Mac