Only recently it was discovered that Apple had started to trademark ‘iWatch’ in a number of countries. There can be a setback on the horizon for Apple, as the name is already trademarked by different companies in UK, US and China.
It was reported last week that Apple had applied for iWatch trademark in Japan in Russia. A few days after that, it was discovered that this patent filing had been expanded to a host of other countries as well, such as Chile and Taiwan. This is believed to be an indicator of an imminent release of Apple’s wearable gadget, though there has been no confirmation from the company regarding this. UK, US and China are all important markets for Apple, and given the fact that this important trademark is already owned by other companies, it would have to figure out some way to get the iWatch name in these countries.
OMG Electronics, a US company that’s based in California like Apple, has the iWatch trademark. They weren’t able to make the gadget itself because the crowdfunded project didn’t raise enough funds, but they do hold the trademark. Probendi in the UK has to its name the iWatch trademark, which is used for an app, and it’s actually a community mark which means that Probendi’s trademark is effectively valid in the entire European Union. In China, there are nine companies that have already trademarked iWatch.
The viable course of action for Apple in this case is to make an offer to these companies to buy their rights to the iWatch trademark. Apple has done this before to use iPad in China, which cost it a cool $60 million. With the billions of dollars it has in the bank, making these purchases shouldn’t be that hard for Apple.