Apple Mighty Mouse

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Mighty Mouse / Apple Mouse
Apple Mighty Mouse (wireless version shown)
TypeMouse with integral trackball
Release dateAugust 2, 2005
DiscontinuedOctober 20, 2009 (wireless)
June 5, 2017 (wired)
ConnectivityUSB (wired)
Bluetooth (wireless)
PowerUSB (wired)
Either 1 or 2 AA (wireless)
PredecessorApple Wireless Mouse
Apple Pro Mouse
SuccessorApple Magic Mouse
RelatedApple Keyboard
Apple Wireless Keyboard

The Apple Mouse (formerly Mighty Mouse) is a multi-control USB mouse manufactured by Mitsumi Electric and sold by Apple Inc. It was announced and sold for the first time on August 2, 2005, and a Bluetooth version was available from 2006 to 2009. Before the Mighty Mouse, Apple had sold only one-button mice with its computers, beginning with the Apple Lisa 22 years earlier. The Mighty Mouse supported two buttons, and a miniature trackball for scrolling.

On October 20, 2009, the wireless Mighty Mouse was discontinued and replaced by the multi-touch Magic Mouse. The wired version of the device remained available, but was renamed the Apple Mouse,[1] due to trademark issues with another manufacturer of a device named Mighty Mouse. As of June 5, 2017, the Apple Mouse is no longer available to buy on Apple's website.


The Mighty Mouse is made of white plastic and has a recessed Apple logo on the mouse's face. The mouse has four functional controls: a left capacitive sensor, a right capacitive sensor, a trackball with a pressure sensor and side squeeze sensors. The track ball enables users to scroll a page or document in any direction, including diagonally. Instead of mechanical buttons, the touch-sensitive topshell (mentioned below) and the pressure-sensing trackball allow the mouse to detect which side is being touched or whether the trackball is being held in.[2][3][4][5]

The mouse emits a faint clicking sound when the scroll ball is rolled or the side squeeze sensors are depressed, but this is not directly caused by the ball moving or side buttons being pressed; the sound is actually produced by a tiny speaker inside the mouse.[6] There is no way to disable this feature other than physically disabling the speaker inside the mouse.[7]

Currently, Mac OS X is the only operating system that fully supports the mouse without third-party software.[needs update] When used with Mac OS X, the sensors can be set to launch applications or trigger features of the Apple operating system, such as Dashboard and Exposé. If not used with Mac OS X, the mouse behaves as a four "button" mouse with a vertical and horizontal scroll wheel. There are third-party drivers (including XMouse[8]) that provide more functions to users of other platforms such as Windows.

The Mighty Mouse does not report whether the right and left sensors are activated simultaneously. It reports a right-click only when there is no finger contact on the left side of the mouse. Thus a right-click requires lifting the finger off the mouse, then right-clicking.[3] This also means that the Mighty Mouse cannot support mouse chording, used by CAD software, games, and other applications where multiple functions are mapped to the mouse.

Technical features[edit]

  • Touch-sensitive top shell
  • Trackball
  • Force-sensing side "squeeze" areas
  • Optical (LED) tracking (wired version)
  • Laser tracking (wireless version)
  • Compatible with Macintosh, Windows, and Linux PCs
  • Programmable functions for the four "buttons"
  • Auditory feedback with built-in speaker[9][10]


Although the Mighty Mouse can sense both right and left clicks, it is not possible to press both sensors simultaneously. The user must learn to lift the left finger off the sensor surface before attempting a right-mouse click.[11]

The scroll ball will eventually become clogged with dirt and require cleaning.[12][13] While there are methods to clean the ball without dismantling the mouse some users have complained that the Mighty Mouse is difficult to clean because the scroll ball mechanism is hard to take apart.[14]


Prior to launching the device, Apple received a license to the name "Mighty Mouse" from Viacom, and subsequently CBS Operations, as owner of the Mighty Mouse cartoon series, the title having been registered in the US as a trademark with respect to various merchandise (such as T-shirts and multivitamins) associated with the character.[15] However, the trademark did not cover computer peripherals, and CBS did not apply to trademark the term in the US with respect to computer mice until mid-2007.[16]

On May 21, 2008, it was announced that Man & Machine Inc., a supplier of keyboards and mice to laboratories and hospitals, had sued Apple Inc. for trademark infringement over its use of the name Mighty Mouse.[17] Man & Machine Inc. had four registered or pending trademarks on various computer pointing related technologies, including "Cool Mouse", "Really Cool", and "Man and Machine and Design".[18] The particular Mighty Mouse trademark in dispute was first filed by Man & Machine Inc., on December 18, 2007, with the description "Computer cursor control devices, namely, computer mice"—after CBS's filing, but claiming first use in 2004, before the introduction of the Apple device.[19] There also was another scroll mouse named Mighty Mouse developed by NTT and ETH Zürich in 1985.

Following opposition proceedings on both sides against the other, CBS subsequently withdrew its application, allowing Man & Machine to register the US trademark for computer mice.[16][20] As a result, Apple stopped selling mice under the "Mighty Mouse" name on October 20, 2009, when it introduced the wireless Magic Mouse and renamed the existing wired mouse the "Apple Mouse".[21]

Incidentally, CBS was successful in registering "Mighty Mouse" as a trademark for computer mice in some other countries, including Canada,[22] although Apple nevertheless chose to change its product name internationally.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Loyola, Roman (October 21, 2009). "First Look: Apple Magic Mouse". Macworld. Archived from the original on June 26, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  2. ^ Luepke, Lara. "Apple Mighty Mouse review: Apple Mighty Mouse". CNET. Archived from the original on December 1, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Cheng, Jacqui (August 3, 2005). "Apple Mighty Mouse". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  4. ^ Shimpi, Anand Lal. "Apple's Mighty Mouse: The Move to Multi-Button". Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  5. ^ "Why can't Apple make a good mouse?". Macworld. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  6. ^ MacDailyNews. Apple's new 'Mighty Mouse' provides audio feedback for clicking and scrolling. Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Macworld. Apple Mighty Mouse Input Device Review. Archived August 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine See the last paragraph under the "All those buttons" section.
  8. ^ "XMouse Button Control". Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "On the bottom half of the mouse, we observed the presence of a speaker" from Dissecting Mighty Mouse Archived May 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Video showing presence of speaker on wireless version of the mouse: Apple wireless mighty mouse disassembling & cleaning on YouTube
  11. ^ "Dissecting Mighty Mouse". Ars Technica. August 4, 2005. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Dormehl, Luke. "Today in Apple history: Wireless Mighty Mouse adds laser tracking". Cult of Mac. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  13. ^ Siegler, M. G. (April 15, 2009). "Apple, Your Mighty Mouse Sucks. Please Fix It". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  14. ^ "Mighty Mouse: Dirty Mouse". Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval". Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  16. ^ a b USPTO record for trademark application no. 77224649 Archived December 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, filed July 9, 2007, "abandoned after an inter partes decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board" on June 4, 2009
  17. ^ "Man & Machine sues Apple over Mighty Mouse - Washington Business Journal". Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Free Trademark Search - Protect Business Name - Incorporate Your Business - Trademarkia". Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  19. ^ "MIGHTY MOUSE Trademark Information" Archived February 19, 2023, at the Wayback Machine. Trademarkia. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  20. ^ PCWorld Archived October 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. "Apple Mighty Mouse Caught in Trademark Trap." October 9, 2009.
  21. ^ Apple Magic Mouse page Archived October 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, accessed October 20, 2009
  22. ^ "Canadian trade-mark data". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2015.

External links[edit]