Microsoft applies for NFC Tap and Do trademark

The computer software giant is to use its own symbol to show that a Windows 8 device has NFC functionality and to indicate to a user where the NFC antenna is located.

Microsoft's Tap and Do NFC logo
TRADEMARK: Microsoft's Tap and Do visual mark indicates NFC functionality

Computer software giant Microsoft has applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an NFC-related design mark.

Microsoft has applied for the mark to cover “computers and computer peripherals featuring near field communication (NFC) connectivity” and “computer software for providing near field communication (NFC) connectivity.”

The application for the mark was spotted by blogger Manan Kakkar. It “consists of a circle with a first generally rectangle-shaped outline extending upward and to the left and a second generally rectangle-shaped outline extending downward and to the right, each with a horizontal arrow pointing inwardly toward the circle.” No particular colour is claimed as a feature of the mark.

Microsoft specified in its Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements document, released in December 2011, that a visual NFC mark would be required on all compliant equipment but the image to be used was not available at that time.

Full details of the visual mark, accompanying “sound hints” that will be used to indicate that an NFC interaction is taking place and the news that Microsoft is using the term “Tap and Do” for NFC are all available in the Windows 8 Near Field Proximity Implementation Specification, published at the end of February.

The 60-page document covers a wide range of NFC functionality and performance requirements, including antenna placement and range requirements as well as a variety of tag reading, writing and NFC pairing use cases

EMVCo's contactless symbol and the NFC Forum's N-Mark

Microsoft’s mark differs significantly from both the NFC Forum’s N-Mark and the EMVCo contactless symbol, widely used in the payments industry.

Microsoft announced in September 2011 that it would be including NFC support in Windows 8. Support is also expected to be included in Windows Phone 8. The company added support for NFC to its Microsoft Tag platform in December.

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3 comments on this article

  1. Alright! Let’s everyone create their own iconography for the exact same function and further confuse the consumer.

    Well done, Microsoft.

  2. NFC Forum = FAIL. So as a result its DIY time. Not good for short term adoption. Apple, Intel, ISIS will be forced to do the same. Not ideal.

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