Apple Obtains U.S. Trademark For '280'. Wait, What?

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Apple last week obtained a U.S. trademark for ’280′, Trademarkia records show. I was puzzled about that, until I saw the image that was submitted along with the trademark filing, which shows the maps icon Apple uses for its iOS navigation app.

In case you’re still at a loss about why the maps icon shows ’280′; it’s because it pinpoints the location of Apple’s headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, right alongside Interstate 280.

The mark description reads:

“The mark consists of a gray map with streets in gray and white and highways in yellow and orange, a highway sign in blue, yellow and red bearing the number “280″ in white, and a gray and red pin.”

Mapping service providers with ’280′ in their product names or designs should be on alert.

I suggest they change it to any number below or above 280, none of which have been trademarked by Apple (so far, at least) to my knowledge.

Seriously though, what’s the point of registering the number 280 as a word mark?

Any trademark law connoisseurs in the house that can help explain Apple’s move?

Update:

Nik Cubrilovic explains in the comments below that, when you submit a trademark filing for an icon, you have to put in the “word mark” field any words that make up part of said icon.