Sosumi is an alert sound introduced in Apple Inc.'s Macintosh System 7 operating system in 1991, created by Jim Reekes. The name is derived from "so sue me" due to a long running court battle with Apple Corp, the similarly named music company, over the use of music in Apple Inc.'s computer products.
Sosumi is a short sample of a xylophone, which gained notoriety in computer folklore as a cheeky response to a long-running Apple Corps v. Apple Computer trademark conflict. The sound has been included in all subsequent versions of Mac OS, including Mac OS X.
During the development of System 7, the two Apples concluded a settlement agreement from an earlier dispute when Apple added a sound synthesis chip to its IIgs machine. As a result, Apple Computer was prohibited from using their trademark on "creative works whose principal content is music".
When new sounds for System 7 were created, the sounds were reviewed by Apple's Legal Department who objected that the new sound alert "chime" had a name that was "too musical," under the recent settlement. The creator of the new sound alerts for System 7, Jim Reekes, had grown frustrated with the legal scrutiny and first quipped it should be named "Let It Beep", a pun on The Beatles' "Let It Be". When someone remarked that that would not pass Legal's approval, he remarked, "so sue me". After a brief reflection, he resubmitted the sound's name as sosumi (a homophone of "so sue me"), telling the Legal Department that the name was Japanese and had nothing to do with music.
The term was used in the poem "A Short Address to the Academy of Silence" by Jay Parini.
Jon Lech Johansen's blog "So Sue Me" is believed to be pun reference to the Apple sound.
Apple uses the CSS class name "sosumi" for formatting legal fine print on Apple product web pages.