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Apple trademarks 'Express Lane' and 'VoicePass'

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Apple has filed two new trademarks right before the holidays this week. VoicePass is the first one -- it's filed in the category of "construction and repair services," so it likely has to do with supporting broken devices. MacNN says that the VoicePass service is used when calling in to customer support -- certain customers in the US and Canada can have a support number recognized automatically by the phone systerm, avoiding having to identify themselves every time they call. So this likely isn't a new service or implementation -- Apple is likely just filing to cover a little-known service it already runs.

Same deal with Express Lane, another trademark filed by Apple this week. Express Lane is Apple's streamlined product repair system, and the company has filed for a trademark on the name involving "web based support and diagnostic services by using resources and tools for computer software and computer hardware provided on-line and over telecommunications networks." Again -- this is a service that Apple already runs, but the company is laying claim to the names in these areas, just in case.

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