For months the rumor was that iWatch would be the name of the watch of Apple. But during the launch, Apple surprised everyone by choosing for the name Apple Watch, and not iWatch.
Probably, the reason was that iWatch was already a registered trademark in the European Union. This trademark is registered in the name of Probendi, for software and applications. Probendi uses iWatch for an application that helps different devices to communicate with each other. This company already threatened Apple with legal procedures in the event Apple would choose for the name iWatch.
After a recent ruling of the Board of Appeal of the OHIM the question is whether an objection of Probendi would be successful. The Board had to decide whether the trademark iWatch, of Brightflash USA LLC, is a distinctive trademark for watches and timepieces. The answer is no. The letter “i” refers to interactive and “the current state of the art technology makes it possible for chronometric instruments and timepieces to be interactive or connected/connectable to the internet.” In other words, the mark is descriptive and can be used by everyone, including Apple.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”