Apple Receives Patent for Startup Chime

BY Tris Hussey

Published 12 Dec 2012

Every Mac owner knows it. Those of us who’ve worked the front lines of tech support know it as “good tone”, and for everyone else, it’s just the Mac startup sound and now Apple has a patent on it.

From the ever-watchful Patently Apple comes this bit of cool news:

Over the years Apple has filed for a wide variety of trademarks so as to protect their distinct imagery and/or marketing strategies. Beyond the normal trademarks such as the iMac or iPhone, they also trademarked some pretty odd ones too. They trademarked their famous marketing line “There’s an App for that,” along with covering store designs and even store fixtures of one sort or another. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a registered trademark for their classic Mac startup chime which indicates that diagnostic tests running immediately at startup have found no hardware or fundamental software problems.

And, if you’re wondering, here’s how the tone is described:

“mark consists of a sound mark consisting of a slightly flat (by approximately 30 cents) G flat/F sharp major chord.”

And written:

6a0120a5580826970c017c3489fd30970b 800wi

In case you’re wondering, yes there is a “bad tone” and it sounds as bad as it makes the user feels. Oh and if you remember the “Happy Mac” that used to grace our screens, there was also a “Sad Mac” which gave pretty useless error codes.

And if you want to download the startup chime (if you make it an alert tone, I bet it would confuse the heck out of people), the USPTO has it for you.