Apple Filed for 'Apple Rosetta' Trademark in Japan Earlier This Year

As noted in Asahi.com, on April 30th of this year, Apple applied for a trademark for the term "Apple Rosetta" in Japan.


The original Rosetta software from 2005

Rosetta was the name for Apple's emulation software that allowed PowerPC apps to run under Intel processors. Apple introduced Rosetta in MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger) to provide a compatibility layer for Mac users while the company transitioned from PowerPC processors to Intel processors.

As a result, Apple has already had the trademark for the term "Rosetta" for sometime, but this new activity and new application surrounding the name is notable given the increasing rumors that Apple is planning on transitioning from Intel to ARM processors in the near future. Apple officially dropped Rosetta support in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) in 2011.


The trademark could simply be ongoing protection of a long existing trademark for Apple, but given the recent rumors, the new activity raises the possibility that Apple may decide to recycle the "Rosetta" name for a new emulation layer to transition from Intel to ARM. The trademark was filed under the following category:

A computers computer network And the computer software in which development of the computer programmes on a global communication network and the download for translating and performing are possible, computer software for computings performed by a cross platform, computer software, Electronic machines [apparatus and their parts]

Apple has been widely rumored to transition from Intel to ARM processors in the coming year, but there has be no rumors about how Apple would handle the transition with regard to emulation. Apple currently lists "Rosetta" without the "Apple" prefix in their list of active trademarks.

Thanks Sanda!

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Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks ago


Technically the process is called Binary Translation not Emulation.

Well, that depends on how this new Rosetta works.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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3 weeks ago
But for anyone that's familiar with the concept of the Rosetta Stone, this could be very well the re-used "new" name for Safari's offline translation software as well. (I know what Apple's Rosetta was, just saying.)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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3 weeks ago
That gives me some hope, because I was becoming increasingly worried that Apple was going to rely entirely on developers re-compiling code and not provide an emulation layer.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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3 weeks ago
Obviously the key question here is going to be performance. How fast will binary translation/emulation be and just as importantly how fast are Apple's ARM chips going to be relative to modern Intel Core/AMD Ryzen.

The original Rosetta's performance was acceptable (quite impressive actually on a technical level), particularly for Apple's notebook lineup, but this was due in large part to just how far behind the PowerPC chips used in Apple's notebooks were compared to x86 at the time. Even the original Core Duos used in the first generation MacBooks absolutely destroyed not only the PowerPC G4s used in Apple's iBook/Powerbooks, but even a lot of PowerPC G5 based Macs.

I highly doubt Apple is going to have quite that large of a performance margin this time around so it will be interesting to see just what they can achieve.

...OTOH, if you put an SSD in an old (circa 2010) Mac with a pre Sandy Bridge Core Ix chip (or even Core 2 Duo) it is surprisingly usable today, so perhaps, for casual users this won't matter as much...

Can't say I'm excited. Please let this just be an additional ISA to be used where it makes sense, and not a whole scale transition (unlikely I know, but I can dream right.)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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3 weeks ago
Oh no. Here we go again. I remember that this was how you had to run Power PC apps on Intel machines. That was living hell. What a kluge. If Apple is going to make us do the same for new ARM computers, I am going to be done with it and get a PC.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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3 weeks ago
Ah ****, here we go again.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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