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Probendi v Apple 'iWatch' Trade Mark Dispute

Written by Thomas Mould on 21 July 2015

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An Irish software development firm, Probendi is suing Apple for the ’iWatch’ trademark.

Apple, when releasing its smart watch deviated from the tradition of putting an ‘i’ in front of the product and it was simply called the Apple Watch.

Despite this Probendi claims that the iPhone maker is paying for Google ads that show Apple Watch-related search results when a user searches for iWatch on Google's search engine.

Probendi filed a petition in a Milan court on June 26 that accuses Apple of violating the iWatch trade mark held by Probendi in the European Union since 2008.

"Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on the Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch”.

iDevices, such as the iPhone and iPad, with the prefix "i" are very popular, but Apple was not able to name its smartwatch iWatch probably because the trade mark was already registered by another company.

It was reported in an audit conducted by Barzano & Zanardo, which specializes in copyright disputes, that the iWatch trade mark is valued at around €87 million, or $128.5 million.

Probendi also stated on its website that the company has the sole rights to use the name "iWatch" on its products.

The first hearing of the case will be held on November 11.

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