Apple has lost a legal effort to own and protect the name iWatch after a successful legal challenge by Swatch Group.
The case, managed by intellectual property firm, Haseltine Lake, saw the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) uphold Swatch’s opposition to Apple’s ‘iWatch’ trade mark application for almost all of the products that Apple wanted to protect.
Swatch, filed the opposition in March 2014 after Apple applied to protect the name ‘iWatch’ as a trade mark. The opposition was based on Swatch’s concern that the ‘iWatch’ name was too similar to its own ‘iSwatch’ trade mark, which is used on a Swatch watch.
In mitigation, Apple sought to claim that the ‘i’ prefix in the proposed name served to identify Apple products alone in the minds of consumers, so the mark could not be confused with the Swatch brand. However, this argument was refuted by Swatch and ultimately dismissed by the IPO.
Haseltine Lake Partner head of itigation Martin Krause, explains: “This was a complex case between two companies that are household names and we are very pleased that the trade mark team at Haseltine Lake was able to deliver the successful outcome for Swatch.”
Apple has said it will appeal the decision.