We’ve been reading for the past couple of weeks how Apple has been on something of a global conquest, registering the ‘iWatch’ trademark in Mexico, Japan, Russia, Taiwan and a few others. It’s seemingly faced little resistance so far, but that could well change.
In both the UK and U.S. the ‘iWatch’ brand name has already been registered, by two very different companies.
In Britain, a company named Probendi Inc. owns the iWatch trademark. The “community trademark” on the moniker is wide-reaching enough that it covers the entire European Union. What’s not entirely clear from the revelations is whether the name is only to be used for a specific purpose. iWatch by Probendi isn’t a piece of hardware, rather, a smartphone app used to send video, audio and location data to the Critical Governance platform.
If the name has only been registered for use on software of this kind, and not on hardware, Apple could find it easier to get its desired name registered in the UK.
Across the Atlantic, in America, iWatch is actually a smart watch. Or at least, it wants to be. iWatch by Berri was a product launched by OMG Electronics on Indiegogo. It failed to meet its $100,000 goal, and only raised little under $1.5k. If OMG decides not to pursue the development of the product, Apple could potentially negotiate with the company.
One thing we can be sure of with Apple is that once it has a name in mind, it normally goes with it regardless of the technicalities and lawsuits that may follow. The company has been involved in trademark disputes with Cisco over the iPhone and with Proview (a Chinese tech company) over the iPad’s moniker. Both times a settlement was made, and Apple kept the name.
Although registering ‘iWatch’ may be a little tricky, we can be confident that Cupertino will almost certainly get its own way.