We recently reported that Apple has filed for the ‘iWatch’ trademark in Japan, hinting that the company may actually be working on such a product. However, it is now being reported that the same ‘iWatch’ trademark is not held by Apple but by other companies, in major markets such as U.S., UK and China.
The company has already registered for the ‘iWatch’ trademark in a number of countries, including Russia, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan and Turkey. However, when it comes to markets where Apple has a huge presence, such as the U.S. or the China, the company doesn’t own the trademark.
In the U.S., the iWatch trademark is held by a company called OMG Electronics. OMG Electronics tried to launch a smartwatch of its own through online fund crowdsourcing, but failed in the attempt.
In China, nine companies claim to be the owners of the trademark, although most claims are clearly invalid. As for UK and parts of Europe, a company called Probendi owns the the trademark since 2008. Probendi uses the trademark for an app that uses audio-visual and locational information from a smartphone to the company’s emergency management software.
In all, it seems that Apple is up for quite a bit of legal battle if it wants to snag the global trademark rights of ‘iWatch.’ The company can certainly do so by coughing up sufficient cash, out of its deep pockets. But this also means that Apple will have to spend a substantial amount of time, and money, in trying to persuade different companies into giving up the ‘iWatch’ trademark.