Swatch Group Claims Apple Inc.’s iWatch too Close to iSwatch
By Athena Yenko | May 5, 2014 1:46 PM EST
Apple Inc. has yet to reveal details of the much awaited iWatch, but Swatch Group had already expressed concern over the products' features closely similar to its iSwatch.
Swatch Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek told Bloomberg Sunday that Swatch had registered trademark to iSwatch in different countries already. However, he said that the issue against Apple may not reach court soon.
"This is the normal procedure to protect your own brand name. We react like this for all other brand names that we have protected. If somebody wants to register a name that is too close to a name that we have protected, we fight against it." Mr Hayek said.
Mr Hayek revealed that Apple Inc. had contacted the company about new technologies but never mentioned about the iWatch.
Interestingly, research from the World Intellectual Property Organisation pulled up that more than 50 companies have the name iWatch protected as trademark.
In Monaco, the name iWatch already got a protected trademark obtained on April 1, 2014, Watson.ch reports. Authorities in Iceland, meanwhile, ruled a preliminary rejection of Swatch, claiming that the iWatch patent in Monaco was similar to iSwatch.
Understandably, Apple Inc. is $510 billion worth more than Swatch Group, but the latter had been the world's biggest watchmaker with brand including Omega, Breguet, Tissot and Longines.
Although Apple has yet to confirm that its smartwatch will be named iWatch, the company has already applied for trademark protection in Japan, as contained in a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office.
Reports had it that Apple Inc. acquired LuxVue Technology in preparation for the rumoured iWatch.
On May 2, TechCrunch reported that LuxVue Technology had been working on micro-LED, screen technologies and raised $43 million fundings from Kleiner Perkins, iD Ventures America and others. The company had been in low-profile developing low-power, micro-LED-based displays for consumer electronics prior to Apple's acquisition.
A spokesperson from Apple indirectly confirmed the acquisition saying that Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
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