‘iWatch’ failure after swatch trade mark success
Following a battle for registration, Apple has lost out on the rights to use ‘iWatch’ as the brand name for their new interactive tech watches.
This case started with Apple applying to register the name as a UK trademark in preparation for the release of the product.
This hit a stumbling block in March 2014 after Swatch, a leading watch manufacturer, filed an opposition stating that the proposed mark would be too similar to their registered trade marks ‘Swatch’ and ‘iSwatch’.
Before the opposition was considered, Apple changed their plans and branded the smart watch ‘Apple Watch’ to prevent any issues.
Confirming Apple’s fears, the UK Intellectual Property Office upheld Swatch’s opposition deeming Apple only the ability to use ‘iWatch’ on certain goods such as computer software and accessories but not hardware, monitors, cameras or audio and visual devices.
For Apple, changing a branding plan was a costly effort and one they could have done without.
This case highlights the importance to brand planning when creating a product that will be seen globally.
Trade marks are territorial therefore all areas need to be considered in their own right carefully as inconsistency in a brand name does not bode well for success.
For more information on how to protect your trade mark, contact The Trademarkroom today!
By Ellis Sweetenham