Swatch objects to authorities over Apple’s filing for ‘iWatch’ trademarks

“Swatch Group AG, the world’s biggest watchmaker, said it has taken action against Apple Inc. (AAPL) over the most valuable technology company’s use of the iWatch label, which it says is too similar to its own iSwatch product,” Jan Schwalbe reports for Bloomberg.

“Swatch’s measures include pointing out the use of “iWatch” to authorities in all the countries where it has been registered as a trademark, Swatch Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in a telephone interview yesterday. He didn’t say which countries had been contacted and when the measures started, adding there are no plans to take Apple to court,” Schwalbe reports. “‘This is the normal procedure to protect your own brand name,” Hayek said. “We react like this for all other brand names that we have protected.'”

“Cupertino, California-based Apple hasn’t yet disclosed any specifics for an Internet-connected wristwatch. Swatch Group, with headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, sells a digital-display model called iSwatch,” Schwalbe reports. “Apple may be looking to make inroads on that brand name because the two are too similar, Hayek said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple doesn’t need help from any brand in the world, much less Swatch, when it comes to branding. This Hayek joker sounds delusional – and quite nervous, as well he should be.

Schwalbe reports, “Swatch has registered the iSwatch name in several dozen countries and wants to protect it, according to Hayek.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, where’d Swatch get the “i” idea? What a mystery! By the way, the “iSwatch” trademark was filed on April 7, 2008 or 9 years, 7 months, and 24 days after Apple’s release of iMac.

Schwalbe reports, “Apple last year applied for trade mark protection for an “iWatch” in Japan, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office. More than 50 companies have filed for trademark protection for the iWatch name, according to a search on the World Intellectual Property Organization website. Watson.ch reported ‘iWatch’ was granted protection on April 1 in Monaco, while authorities in Iceland issued a preliminary rejection, citing its similarity to iSwatch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Swatch should enjoy the “world’s biggest watchmaker” sobriquet. No telling how long that’ll last. 😉

49 Comments

  1. Swatch don’t just make Swatch watches, they own a whole load of other well-known, and not so well-known, but big selling watch brands.
    There are tens of millions of people out there like me, who don’t want something on their wrist nagging them to pay attention to what their phone is doing.
    I certainly cannot think of a single person in my wider circle of friends and aquaintancies, even those who use iPhones, (and many don’t), who have a use for an iWatch.
    I’ve had three iPhones, waiting on the next, an iPad, a Mac Mini and a PowerBook, and I cannot see a need for such a device.
    But I don’t need to be checking my damned phone every thirty seconds for fear I might miss a Facebook or Twitter post, or the latest funny cat meme.

    1. I respect that you obviously have no use for an “iWatch”. But I have occasions (teaching and other activities) where I really can’t check my phone when it vibrates, but need to. (I have an elderly parent I’m watching over and other commitments.)
      If I could glance at my wrist to assess the importance level of a call, that feature alone would make an iWatch useful to me, and as Silverhawk1 points out, who knows what else Apple has in mind for the mythical iWatch?

    2. There are tens of millions of people out there like me, who don’t want something in their pocket nagging them to pay attention to it.
      I certainly cannot think of a single person in my wider circle of friends and acquaintances, even those who use Macs, (and many don’t), who have a use for an iPhone.
      I’ve had three iPods, a Mac Mini and a PowerBook, and I cannot see a need for such a device.
      Plus, that is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good e-mail machine.

      1. AH-HA! Finally!. I always guessed you were a bitter old geezer crank, thanks for confirming it.

        No one in your circle of friends with a use for an iPhone? Really? Are they all in hospice? Still yearning for a rotary dial, or maybe an operator to complete the circuit for you? LOL..

        That nagging in our pocket keeps millions of us on track and happily productive thanks. I won’t even grace your absurd email argument with a rebuttal.

    3. since nobody really knows what this is or what it does for that matter, how do you know you don’t need one ? Its all hearsay now . And if I was swatch ( who hasn’t been hot in years) I would be worried about my business

  2. How long has iSwatch been around? Any time I see and i start a name I think Apple. iPhone, iPad, iMac, etc. Apple should go after them if they can for damages.

  3. What a great question “Gee, where’d Swatch get the “i” idea? What a mystery! By the way, the “iSwatch” trademark was filed on April 7, 2008 or 9 years, 7 months, and 24 days after Apple’s release of iMac.”

    Let’s round that off to 10 years. Hmmm that would be 1998, that famous iMac. Now where did Apple get the “i” idea? Steve Jobs. Could be, but tack a couple of years prior to the iMac to some software that who’s purpose was “i seek you” or icq. The first version of that program was released in November 1996.

    1. According to lore, Steve did not come up with the naming scheme. Ken Segall did ““One of the reasons we liked it was it was a good foundational name just in case we ever wanted another i-word,” Segall said.”

  4. The laws on trademarks are ridiculously broad. The University of Texas controls the word “Longhorn” and visual representations of the Main Building on the UT campus. I understand that high school teams in Texas are forbidden to call themselves “Ducks” without licensing the name from the University of Oregon. Obviously, both ducks and longhorn cattle far antedate the universities.

    Given that state of the law, Swatch has just as much right to register and enforce a trademark as Apple does.

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