Skip to main content

Swatch opposes Apple’s iWatch trademark, says it’s too similar to own iSwatch moniker

iwatchc_martinhajek_clean_31
Martin Hajek

The course of launching a new tech product never did run smooth, it seems.

We’ve known for some time that Apple is almost certainly working on a smartwatch, though a steady stream of rumors and leaks over the last year have suggested it’s been rather hard going, with various design difficulties hindering its development.

The latest headache for Apple may link to the name of its rumored wrist-based computer. Last year the Cupertino company started filing the iWatch label with various patent offices around the world, but now watch giant Swatch has piped up to say it’s not happy about it.

Claiming the moniker to be too similar to that of its iSwatch timepiece, the Swiss firm told Bloomberg over the weekend it’s been making contact with the relevant authorities in countries where Apple has filed the name.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said that while there no plans to take Apple to court over the issue, it was “normal procedure to protect your own brand name,” adding, “We act like this for all other brand names that we have protected.”

Hayek said Apple may be trying to “make inroads” on the Swatch brand name because “the two are similar.”

The firm currently offers two iSwatch devices. Both are digital, water-resistant units that sell for $100 and $140, according to Swatch’s website.

Bloomberg said the iSwatch brand name is registered in “several dozen” countries, with the famous watchmaker keen to protect it. It’s not clear precisely what steps the company plans to take, or even if it would have any chance of winning a case were it at some stage to take matters further with the US tech titan.

Apple started registering the iWatch name last summer, with filings spotted for countries such as Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Columbia. The company will be hoping Swatch’s objections come to nothing, especially as it’s already endured disruptive fights with various firms over similar trademark issues, though admittedly those cases involved identical names as opposed to a similar one as we see with the iSwatch.

With tech companies looking for new markets to exploit now that the smartphone sector is reaching saturation point, wearable tech is expected to be the next big thing. Apple boss Tim Cook said in February his company is working on “some really great stuff” in “new categories,” with the iWatch rumored to be among its plans.

Whether it launches with that name, however, is now open to question.

[Image: Martin Hajek]

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
A surprise phone just beat the Galaxy S24 Ultra in a big way
Digital render of a silver Realme GT Neo 6 SE held in bionic hand.

The global Android phone market is expansive beyond comprehension, and brands continually jockey to establish supremacy. Today, it's Realme's turn to lead one such race as it has unveiled the brightest smartphone display that has ever been launched to the general public.

Realme, a spinoff of the Chinese phone brand Oppo (which also birthed OnePlus), announced the GT Neo 6 SE earlier today in China. The phone boasts an impressive juxtaposition of internal hardware, but one that instantly stands tall is the new display. The Realme GT Neo 6 SE features a 6.78-inch OLED display with a spectacular 6,000 nits of brightness -- brighter than the displays on any other phone or consumer device with a screen built into it.

Read more
This new folding phone costs less than half the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max
ZTE Flip 5G color options.

Earlier this year, ZTE offshoot Nubia showed off a foldable phone, and expectedly, the biggest draw was its supposedly attractive asking price. As U.S. shoppers waited for the phone to hit retail shelves, ZTE launched it in Japan as the Libero Flip. Thankfully, the wait is finally over on this side of the Atlantic, as well.

Nubia's website has recently listed the Nubia Flip 5G for pr-eorder on its website. The best part is the asking price, which is only $500 for the base variant with a respectable 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. You can bump the RAM to 12GB and double the storage capacity for an additional $200.

Read more
I have Samsung’s newest cheap phone, and I’m a bit worried
A person holding the Samsung Galaxy A55.

The Galaxy A55 is Samsung’s newest midrange, affordable smartphone, built as an alternative for those who don’t want to splash out on the Galaxy S24. But that does not mean it doesn’t feel special. Samsung has updated the design in a few subtle ways that make the Galaxy A55 look and feel desirable from the moment you pick it up.

I’m getting ready to give the Galaxy A55 a full review, but in the meantime, here are my very early impressions of Samsung’s latest affordable phone. As I hinted at, it's definitely looking good, but unfortunately, a few concerns are also creeping in — which I hope will quickly disappear.
A new, sharp shape

Read more