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Swatch wins opposition against Apple for 'iWatch'

Written by Thomas Mould on 13 September 2016

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The UK Intellectual Property Office has partially granted Swatch’s opposition to Apple’s trade mark application for ‘iWatch’.

In 2014, Apple filed a trade mark application in the UK for iWatch which covered computer software; security devices; monitors and monitoring devices; cameras; computers; computer hardware; computer peripherals; wireless communication devices; radios; audio and video devices; global positioning system devices; accessories, parts, components, and cases for all of those goods.

The Opposition was based on the ground that the trade mark Apple was seeking would cover an identical or similar product to iSwatch, a smart watch manufactured by Swatch.

Swatch opposed Apple’s application with the claim that Apple’s mark is similar and likely to create confusion among the public.

Apple had then opposed the claims made by Swatch, stating that it already has a “reputation of a family of 23 marks with the prefix ‘i’”, which would mean that the public would associate iWatch with Apple and therefore not confuse it with the opponent’s mark.

The Opposition by Swatch was held to be partially successful for all the goods except for computer software; security devices; computer peripherals, parts, components; and cases for all the goods.

Apple’s trade mark application will now become registered for the goods that Swatch could not prove caused confusion among the public.

This was one of the first Apple products in recent years not to include the ‘i’ prefix and this Opposition was the reason for the change to ‘Apple Watch’. Fortunately for Apple, it has not affected sales and continues to be the best selling smart watch brand. 

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