Apple targeted in legal action over the ‘iWatch’ name it never used

Martin Hajek
A software development studio in Ireland that owns the iWatch trademark in Europe is taking on Apple in the courts.

The dispute centers around Apple ads on Google’s search engine that offer links to the Apple Watch whenever a user runs a search on “iWatch”.

The software company, Probendi, believes it’s wrong for Apple to get extra traffic via a keyword related to a trademark it owns, and so at the end of last month took its grievances to court, Bloomberg reported.

In the filing, Probendi, whose company mission statement is “get to the center of the problem and solve it,” says, “Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch. Apple never replied to our requests and objections, while Google said they are not responsible for links.”

During the time that Apple was  prepping the launch of the Apple Watch a couple of years back, the Cupertino company filed for “iWatch” trademarks in a number of countries, among them Japan, Russia, and Turkey.

Following the iPhone and iPad, iWatch was the obvious name for Apple’s first ever smartwatch, but there was a problem. Probendi owned the iWatch trademark in Europe, having secured it back in 2008. The Dublin-based company said it’d told Apple last year not use the term for its smartwatch, adding that it had developed an app called iWatch that helps different devices talk to each other. Probendi said it’s also considering producing an Android smartwatch that it wants to name – you guessed it – iWatch.

The company claims its iWatch trademark to be worth some $97 million. That’s a whacking great load of money, but you may recall that back in 2012 Apple paid out $60 million to a Chinese company to settle a trademark dispute regarding the iPad name, though admittedly the nature of Probendi’s dispute is markedly different. At best the company may get a decent payout, at worst it’s picking up some publicity through its actions.

As Bloomberg notes, a slew of companies, several of them well-known outfits such as American Airlines and Rosetta Stone, have fought with Google and its advertisers over trademark issues in the past, though often without any positive outcome for those taking the action.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Probendi fares any better. A hearing is scheduled for November.


The best CES 2019 health gadgets combat stress, pain, and more

We can all use some help with our health and CES 2019 was packed with intriguing devices designed to combat pain and stress, help you monitor blood pressure, reduce tinnitus, and care for the sick or elderly.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for January 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

B&H slashes prices on Apple Watches and iPad Pros during CES 2019

B&H Photo is discounting the Apple iPad Pro (2017) and the Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 with GPS+Cellular for a limited time. If you've wanted one of the best tablets on the market or one of the most sought-after smartwatches, now is your…

One night with this sensor on your head could change your sleep forever

Get past the fact you’ll be in bed with a sensor on your forehead, and the Beddr SleepTuner may be the first step in curing your sleep problems and improving your overall health.

Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

This looks like a regular chronograph watch, but it holds a secret: It's really a smartwatch and even has a hidden screen, which is revealed only when you need it. We took a closer look at CES 2019.

Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2019 Award Winners

5G. A.I. Voice assistants. Metaverse. Yes, metaverse. CES 2019 slathered on the buzzwords thick and heavy, but beneath the breathless hype and bluster, there were amazing products to back it up, too. Except metaverse. C’mon Nissan, you…

You'll soon be able to pay for goods with the Motiv smart ring

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Product Review

Mobvoi beefs up the battery on its affordable Ticwatch E2 and S2 Wear OS watches

Mobvoi is known to offer excellent, low-priced Wear OS smartwatches. At CES 2019, the company unveiled new entries into its Express and Sport range -- the Ticwatch E2 and Ticwatch S2.
Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!