Apple filed for the trademark in June 2012, and was granted the trademark yesterday, according to Patently Apple.
Apple's trademark application stated that the "mark consists of a sound mark consisting of a slightly flat (by approximately 30 cents) G flat/F sharp major chord."
I actually find it interesting that you can trademark a sound like this. Given that you can't trademark common words like "car" or "house" in isolation, it's interesting that you can take a chord in isolation and create some sense of ownership of it. It's all about the context in which it's used I'm sure.
For more of the history behind the Apple Mac's startup sound, check out this discussion with Jim Reekes, who developed the original Apple Mac startup sound in his home studio on a Korg Wavestation synth.
Well now you know!
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