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Apple's recent trademark applications suggest the rumoured iWatch is just around the corner
Apple's recent trademark applications suggest the rumoured iWatch is just around the corner

Apple expands trademark for watches, jewellery

Apple has reportedly moved to protect its brand in the jewellery and watch market, fuelling speculation that the rumoured iWatch will be released later this year.
According to MacRumours, Apple is “broadening and cleaning up” its application in trademark Class 14, which, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, covers “mainly precious metals, goods in precious metals not included in other classes and, in general, jewellery, clocks and watches”.

This is one of 45 trademark classes relating to different product categories that are adhered to worldwide.

In late December 2013, Apple reportedly filed a new “Apple” trademark application in Ecuador to add protection in Class 14 for a number of product types including jewellery and watches. Numerous other applications followed, including a Class 14-focused application filed in Mexico in early January this year, and a larger application filed in Norway in mid-February 2014 to increase protection over seven different classes, including Class 14.

Then in March, Apple also filed an application in the United Kingdom for Class 14 for the first time as part of a wider application to increase protection across a total of 12 classes.

Despite this, the company has yet to protect itself within its home country, the United States, and is still not covered under Class 14 in many of the other countries in which it operates.

Rumour has it
This is not the first time that Apple’s trademark applications have led to a surge in iWatch rumours. In mid-2013, Apple reportedly applied to trademark “iWatch” in Japan, after lodging a similar application in Russia.

Shortly after, Apple’s appointment of fashion brand executive Paul Deneve, who previously held the top job at Yves Saint Laurent, prompted industry experts to suggest he would be involved in the development of a smartwatch.

As recently as last month, LVMH watch division head and Hublot chairman Jean-Claude Biver stated in an interview that Apple had approached him and other Swiss companies to develop a “Swiss-made” iWatch.

Background reading: Google watch a game changer? 

Speculation is now rife that Apple will launch an iWatch later this year, and that it will use a flexible AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display in two sizes as well as have a strong health and fitness focus. However, Apple remains tight-lipped about the product, neither confirming nor denying that its entry into the wearable technology market is on the cards.

Apple not in a rush

If the iWatch is being developed, Apple could be considered as coming into the smartwatch game quite late. Sony launched its smartwatch in May 2012, Samsung has already released two new versions of its Galaxy Gear timepiece – Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and Google – Apple’s main competitor – released concept images last month of smartwatches using the Android Wear operating system that it is currently developing.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company would not rush any new products to market.

“You want to take the time to get it right,” he said. “Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time.”

Cook maintained ambiguity when discussing what products may be in the works, cryptically commenting, “I feel great about what we’ve got coming. Really great – and it’s closer than it’s ever been.”

More reading

Apple iWatch rumoured to be Swiss-made
Apple applies for iWatch trademark
New appointment spurs Apple iWatch rumours
Is Apple iWatch closer than we think?
Apple iWatch on the way?
Will Apple launch an iWatch?
Consumer interest grows for smartwatches, smart jewellery
Google confirms entry into watch market

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