Make of it what you will, but “Patently Apple” ( http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2010/03/hmm-apple-has-renewed-their-newton-logo-trademark.html) reports that Apple’s filing pertaining to their Newton logo design trademark that appears to have been renewed or has been automatically set to renew on Oct. 13, 2010.
So what’s a Newton? It was the first personal digital assistant proposed by then-Apple CEO John Sculley in 1987; the Newton project was initiated in 1990. The Newton prototype was announced two years later. In 1993 the Newton MessagePad was announced just shortly after Sculley resigned. Unfortunately, the MessagePad ended up as the butt of many jokes (including a famous “Doonesboro” cartoon) because the handwriting recognition, a vital part of the device, didn’t work properly and would often misinterpret the written text.
By 1995, only two years after the release of Newton, Apple’s CEO Michael Spindler was looking for possible investors for the Newton project. In January 1996, when Spindler left Apple and Gil Amelio became CEO, it was announced that the Newton division would become an independent company: Newton, Inc.
Amelio resigned on July 9, 1997, and Jobs returned to Apple. Newton, Inc., was quickly reabsorbed into the mothership. A new and improved Newton, the MessagePad 2100, was released. It was probably the best Newton yet, but it was too little, too late, at least in Jobs’ eyes. In February 1998 Apple officially discontinued the Newton project.