Launch of Apple Watch delayed in Switzerland by patent issue

“Apple is not able to launch its new smartwatch in Switzerland until at least the end of this year because of an intellectual property rights issue, Swiss broadcaster RTS reported on its website,” Joshua Franklin reports for Reuters.

“The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word “apple” to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property,” Franklin reports. “The patent is set to finish on Dec. 5 of this year. It currently belongs to William Longe, who owns watch brand Leonard that first filed the patent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We cannot imagine a less effective, or more desperate, attempt to delay to inevitable.

In the two weeks prior to launch, Apple will log more Apple Watch pre-orders than Switzerland has in total available watch buyers.


  1. It’s not an issue at all. The number of Swiss residents expecting to buy an Apple Watch is probably rather low. Swiss watches are primarily exported to other countries.

    Apple was not going to release it’s watch in Switzerland initially anyway, so a delay of a few months, when the Apple Watch is likely to be in short supply anyway will not create any problems for Apple. Any Swiss who desperately want an Apple Watch this year could easily travel to France, Germany, Austria or Italy – or possibly even Lichtenstein if there are any Apple stores there.

  2. I can’t think if a better way to win over Switzerland than scarcity. If it was available at the end of April everyone would be badmouthing it. This way they won’t be able to resist lusting after what the rest of the world has. A grey market will form and by the end of the year there will be so much pent-up demand they’ll have forgotten there was supposed to be a national hate for the Apple Watch.

    1. Every Swiss citizen who will want an Apple Watch will cross the border either to Germany or France to get one anyway, since they will be much cheaper in those two countries than in Switzerland. Since the Swiss government decoupled the Franc from the Euro, goods in Switzerland are even more expensive compared to neighboring countries like Germany, France and Austria, causing many Swiss to travel to these countries just to shop. I wouldn’t be surprised to see hoards of Swiss consumers lining up at Apple stores in these countries to get the watch.

    1. I don’t understand the down votes on this one. They definitely didn’t get your point.

      All these products you mentioned have apple logo on it.
      If they can’t mention Apple or use any apple logo in that country,
      Does that mean there’s no iPads , iPhones, iPods and iMacs sale?
      up there?

        1. Exactly though I don’t see how a long established company logo can’t be used, as it already is and thus at what point in relation to the watch directly it actually can’t, ie on the watch itself, on packaging, verbally, the title, a conundrum indeed that the authorities are certainly intent on exploiting it seems.

        2. William Tell, Swiss hero. You know; marksman. Split an APPLE perched on his son’s head.

          Someone’s registered the trademark of a Swiss hero’s APPLE being shown on a Swiss-made WATCH. They have exclusive use of the APPLE and WATCH combination, till their exclusivity runs out.

  3. “You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!” — Harry Lime, The Third Man.

  4. It’s a trademark issue, not a patent issue. I would expect “intelligent” people that post on MDN to at least know the difference.
    @Russell – who gives a shit if you wont buy anything made in Switzerland until 2016 – certainly not Switzerland.

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