Apple seeks ‘iWatch’ trademark in Japan

Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service
2 July, 2013
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Apple has filed to trademark the phrase ‘iWatch’ in Japan, amid rumours the company will soon launch a smartwatch device globally.

The trademark application was filed with the Japan Patent Office on 3 June for a wide range of product categories, including ‘computer’, ‘computer peripheral’, ‘GPS device’ and ‘voice recognition software’. The application was made public on 27 June and is still being reviewed by the office, a process that can take months.

The application was filed for the phrase in Roman letters, which Apple uses for most of its product lines in Japan, as opposed to Japanese characters.

A spokesman for Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, a Russian news site reported that Apple filed for the ‘iWatch’ trademark in that country. Several patents in the US, including one for a curved battery and another for a flexible display that be used in a flat or curved state, and news reports indicate Apple is working on a watch-like device.

Last week Sony announced the latest version of its SmartWatch, a water-resistant device with NFC (near field communication). The Sony watch acts mainly as a peripheral for a smartphone, syncing via Bluetooth and showing alerts for services like Facebook, Twitter and email. It also can download scaled down versions of apps and customised watch faces.

Samsung has also said it is working on a smartwatch, and a number of smaller startups such as Pebble have launched programmable watches.

by Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service

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