There's a trademark for that -- and Apple now owns it

Company granted exclusive rights to 'there's an app for that' marketing slogan

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Not long after launching its App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 2008, Apple began turning its "There's an app for that" marketing slogan into a geek catchphrase, dryly worked into party conversations and adapted by thousands of bloggers looking for a clever pop-culture reference.

The next logical step, of course, was for Apple to trademark "there's an app for that." Mission accomplished. Last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple the trademark for its marketing slogan. Apple had applied for the trademark on Dec. 4, 2009.

Don't worry, though: You still can adapt the slogan for use around the water cooler or during after-hours drinks with your colleagues. And bloggers can riff to their heart's content. But stay away from "there's an app for that" if what you do meets the following description:

Retail store services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics

What many people may not realize is the newly trademarked slogan is just one of several used by Apple to market its app store. The others haven't quite taken off, though I wonder if Apple just said "to hell with it" and tried to trademark them all anyway. Here are the rest:

"There's an app for just about anything"

"Applications unlike anything you’ve seen on a phone before"

"Your iPhone gets better with every new app"

"Over 200,000 ways to make iPhone even better"

"We got your apps right here!"

Actually, I made up that last one, but it's better than the rejects on the list.

As you might guess, this isn't Apple's first time to the trademark rodeo. The company even has a web page devoted to the nearly 200 trademarks it owns. Scanning the list, it appears "there's an app for that" is the only phrase trademarked by Apple. Other trademarks granted are for items ranging from applications (AirPlay, FileVault) to computer fonts (Charcoal, Gadget) to OS software (Newton, Snow Leopard).

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