by Joe White
July 4, 2013
Apple has been on a globe-trotting "iWatch" trademark spree recently, though the company could hit something of a roadblock when it comes to securing the name in both the United States and the United Kingdom, Macworld UK reports. So far, applying for the trademark in Russia, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey appears to have been a relatively hassle-free process for the Cupertino, Calif. company, who is presently rumored to be developing a wearable smart watch device capable of performing some of the tasks reserved for Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. In the United States and the United Kingdom, however, securing the all-important trademark could problematic. This is because in each countries, the trademark is already owned by separate companies. In the U.S., the Fresno, Calif.-based OMG Electronics owns the "iWatch" name, while in the United Kingdom Probendi, Inc. owns a "community trademark" on "iWatch," which is valid across Europe. Macworld UK explains:
Probendi is listed under an Italian address for the purposes of the European trademark, but from its website appears to be based primarily in Delaware on the U.S. East Coast. Its product brochure, on the other hand, lists a trading address in Bogota, in Colombia. Probendi is a network services firm, and therefore probably wouldn't count Apple among its rivals. Nor should we expect a smartwatch from the company; it's using the iWatch brand for an app "that sends real-time audio, video and location data to the Critical Governance platform."In both countries, it would appear that Apple is therefore going to have to undergo a legal battle in order to secure the "iWatch" trademark from OMG Electronics and Probendi, Inc. As a reminder, the company has previously been forced to take trademark disputes to the courtroom for both its iPhone and iPad, and it could be that a similar situation arises if - or when - Apple launches its anticipated smart watch. For now, all we can do is wait. While recent analysis has indicated that Apple's long-rumored product may not launch until 2014, it could still be that we'll hear an announcement later this year, when the company unveils its next-generation line of iDevices. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: Future Apple Earbuds Might Contain Noise-Cancelling Technology, Is Apple Working On Its Own Waze-Like Navigation Service?, and MuscleNerd: Bootrom Exploit For Apple's Newer iDevices Still Undiscovered.