Apple Watch has trademark issues that could delay its launch in Switzerland

Apple Watch has trademark issues that could delay its launch in Switzerland
Apple might have to delay the launch of the Apple Watch in Switzerland. According to a report from a Swiss broadcaster, a company called Leonard Timepieces has a trademark in the country that gives it the exclusive rights to use the word "apple" on jewelry including watches. The trademark also covers the use of the image of an apple on jewelry and watches in Switzerland. The good news for Apple is that this trademark expires on December 5th after being in effect for 30 years. But that is more than 7 months after the April 24th global launch of the Apple Watch.

The trademark owned by Leonard Timepieces covers "precious metals and their alloys and goods in these materials or coated therewith, not included in other classes, or jewelery, jewelery, stones precious stones, watches and timepieces. " Not only can't the tech titan use the name Apple Watch in Switzerland, it also can't show the Apple logo on the watch.

Apple had a pair of similar situations when it launched the iPhone and iPad. In the U.S., Cisco owned the iPhone trademark for its VoIP phones when Apple introduced its touchscreen handset in January 2007. A month later, both sides reached a settlement. Apple finally was awarded the trademark for the iPhone name in February 2010.

In July 2012, Apple paid Chinese company Proview $60 million for the iPad name in China. Before launching the tablet in 2010, Apple signed a deal with Proview's Taiwan subsidiary which only gave it the rights to use the iPad name in Taiwan, not in mainland China. This became a legal battle with Proview originally asking Apple to pay it $1.5 billion for the rights to the iPad name in the country.

Apple has plenty of cash that it could dangle in front of Leonard Timepieces to buy the trademark. After all, the trademark will expire in December and Leonard Timepieces might want to grab some cash for it now rather than have it expire worthless. We don't believe that Apple would want to wait until December to launch the Apple Watch in Switzerland, nor is the company likely to change the name of the watch in that country. Buying the trademark would be the easiest way for Apple to remove this obstacle that stands in its way in Switzerland.

source: RTS (translated) via Reuters

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35 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7574; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its Apples first generation smart watch. Its not like they need a tiny country like Switerland. I think Apple just needs and likes the publicity more.

29. Kratz

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Tiny country like Switzerland? Lol. Let's leave that hanging for a minute... :-)

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

As long as the U.S. lauch, in particular Las Vegas isn't delayed. There'll be two in my household.

28. Kratz

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Really? You know this even before holding the watch in your hand? Impressive dedication! Or I could also find another word...

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I can find 8 words: I dont give a f*** what you say.

34. Kratz

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Thank you for the kind words...

35. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're welcome, now get lost.

3. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Amazing how Apples billions in reserve pretty much solve all its problems, they do deserve their financial success but it's still incredible how they can literally do anything.

5. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Too bad they can't use those billions to make their own tech. They have to keep buying them from other companies. No, Apple does not "design" or "engineer" their components except for the CPU, which is, in fact, originally a Samsung Exynos design that Samsung sold to Apple. Apple is such a tech weakling.

6. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Apple could make its own products. They won't because then they'd no longer have those billions of dollars. It's easier to strong arm Foxconn to make their products as cheaply as possible, with near slave labor than open your own plants, pay taxes and fees, and all the worker salaries and benefits. Made in America doesn't mean much these days, almost everything is made in China or similar places. There's no benefit for Apple to make things themselves.

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

And why should they? I didn't build my home with my bare hands, nor do I cook my own meal when I go to a restaurant. There's this weird pervasive idea in the comments section of this website that Apple is weak because it outsources its tasks. It's not because it's weak, it's because it makes the most business sense.

11. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Outsourcing component manufacturing means that you are slaves to the component manufacturer in terms of product quality, especially if the component manufacturer also has a consumer electronics division that competes with you. Look at Samsung. They make their own RAM, SoC, NAND, displays, image processors, etc. As a result, the S6 has the best display, the fastest storage, the fastest RAM, the best camera. The UFS 2.0 storage tech from Samsung, for example, makes the S6 smoother and faster than the iPhone 6. If Samsung decides not to share this tech with Apple with the iPhone 6S/7, then Apple will be stuck with Samsung's old eMMc storage tech, meaning the S6 will be faster and smoother than the next iPhone. You see how that if Apple doesn't make their own tech, you as a consumer will also suffer?

19. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Samsung makes UFS storage, but they didn't design it, Toshiba did. Samsung can only deny it to Apple in the same way a small child could block a LeBron James jumper: They can't.

20. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Toshiba has nothing to do with UFS. Toshiba isn't even part of the universal flash storage association. Also, the UFS association only decides what speeds determine UFS category. They don't determine how the UFS storage is designed. Apple can try getting UFS 2.0 from another manufacturer, but it won't be as good as Samsung's. Sorry to burst your bubble. I know it must pain you that Apple relies so much on Samsung for technical expertise because Apple sucks at engineering, but please brush off your tears. It's embarrassing.

22. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

To elaborate, the UFS storage was designed by many companies. Samsung included, but Toshiba isn't one of them. You can read about the SCSI architecture used in UFS 2.0 here:http://universalflash.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1306_UFSA_White_Paper.pdf The improvement in speed and power consumption for UFS 2.0 come from M-PHY architecture from MIPI Alliance, which is an organization that Samsung founded with several other companies. So yes, Samsung did design UFS 2.0.

8. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Foxconn is an assembly manufacturer, not a component manufacturer. The latter designs and engineers components while the former just pieces them together. The iPhone's modem is from Qualcomm, RAM and NAND are from Samsung, display is from JDI, camera sensor is from SONY... you get the picture. Now look at the S6. It's the most vertically-integrated phone in the market. Nearly all the chips were built in-house by Samsung. I know that when I'm buying a Samsung phone, I'm buying a unique phone. When I'm buying an iPhone, I'm buying a low-quality, fisher-price toy that's repackaging technology from other companies.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

And what do you hope to achieve with that comment? Apple is a huge business, you're a tech site whiner. Both of you are excellent at what you do.

12. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

It affects you too, tool. Read my comment above. If you don't make your own tech, then you're trapped by what the component manufacturer decides to sell to you. That means they can sell you inferior versions of their tech, giving you, the consumer, a worse experience. I'll quote what I said: "Look at Samsung. They make their own RAM, SoC, NAND, displays, image processors, etc. As a result, the S6 has the best display, the fastest storage, the fastest RAM, the best camera. The UFS 2.0 storage tech from Samsung, for example, makes the S6 smoother and faster than the iPhone 6. If Samsung decides not to share this tech with Apple with the iPhone 6S/7, then Apple will be stuck with Samsung's old eMMc storage tech, meaning the S6 will be faster and smoother than the next iPhone. You see how that if Apple doesn't make their own tech, you as a consumer will also suffer?"

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Please explain exactly how it is I'll suffer? It's not like they're making pacemakers, or prosthetics, it's a cell phone man. I don't make my own car, but I love my Hemi charger, I bet Chrysler doesn't make all the components either.

23. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

If I'm shelling out $700 for a damn phone, I better expect premium quality. The iPhone just doesn't cut it. Inferior screen, inferior battery life, inferior speed, inferior build quality, and inferior feel. The S6 has the best quality components and touching it feels like touching a girl's breasts. That's how a $700 phone should be, not some cheap, fisher-price toy.

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It feels premium to me, and millions of others. Now what?

15. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

And yet, strangely, they still make products that people will buy. Funny how that's worked for the last fifteen years, huh?

24. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

I know, right? But I never had much faith in humanity as a whole in the first place, so I'm not surprised at all that this is still going on, just disappointed, really.

26. 99nights

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Anything concerning apple concerns Darkjedi, c'mon son, should know that by now.

18. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The A-Series processors have about as much in common with the Exynos as you do with intelligence: Not very much. "Exynos" is Samsung branding for stock ARM designs. The A-Series are custom chips that use ARM IP, but they don't use the ARM core designs. Your FUD is beyond the pale.

21. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Samsung, along with Intrinsity, designed iPhone CPU cores before the iPhone 4. The current Apple processors are based on old Exynos blueprints that Samsung sold to Apple after Apple bought Intrinsity, because stock ARM processors are superior to ones Samsung first designed. Samsung didn't need those designs anymore.

27. Iodine

Posts: 1503; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Samsung intrisity and Apple designed the enchanced cortex-A8 design which if something has been used by samsung as "humingbird" so they bassically used stuff Apple colaborated on. If A series are based on some old blueprints, how could the A5 absolutelly kill it on GPU perf, how could Apple jump on custom designed cores (which have to be designed for years) and then aggain quickly to a 64-bit desktop class architecture, how can A8 completelly embarass the competition iin terms of efficiency and how could an A8X be a big competition to Intels core M chips ? All while samsung could only add more, higher clocked cores ? Only thing you got is some papers specs that don't translate into better user experience, Apple got some extremelly powerfull chip architecture, their own programing language and GPU api and a crapload of developers willing to exploit this potential. Nothing beats such combination.

4. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Maybe they should've named it the iWatch after all...

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Applecultist, posts 8, and 5 are just pathetic meaningless comments, that'll achieve nothing. Commentator, your might be the post of the day. +1 to you on post 7.

13. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

They aren't meaningless. Let me quote it again: "Look at Samsung. They make their own RAM, SoC, NAND, displays, image processors, etc. As a result, the S6 has the best display, the fastest storage, the fastest RAM, the best camera. The UFS 2.0 storage tech from Samsung, for example, makes the S6 smoother and faster than the iPhone 6. If Samsung decides not to share this tech with Apple with the iPhone 6S/7, then Apple will be stuck with Samsung's old eMMc storage tech, meaning the S6 will be faster and smoother than the next iPhone. You see how that if Apple doesn't make their own tech, you as a consumer will also suffer?" By being such a tech weakling, Apple is compromising the user experience of their devices.

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