Apple could face hurdles applying for iWatch trademark in US and UK

iWatch concept (Martin Hajek, multiple 001)

Apple’s iWatch trademark filing world tour could hit major roadblocks in the United Kingdom and over in Apple’s home turf of the United States, it has been discovered.

According to two separate reports, a small California firm has taken steps to trademark ‘iWatch’ in the United States.

And over in the United Kingdom, a network services firm owns a Community trademark on ‘iWatch’, basically a trademark that applies across the European Community, which includes Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France,, Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

As a result, Apple is likely going to have to either pay these companies to buy the trademark or face a legal battle should it in fact decide to launch a rumored wristwatch product…

According to The New York Post, Fresno, California-based OMG Electronics applied for an ‘iWatch’ trademark in the United States. The small company attempted to raise funds to build its iWatch product on Indiegogo nine months ago. However, it only managed to raise a paltry $1,434 in crowdsource funding.

It is also possible that OMG Electronics is simply trolling Apple in the hope of seeking a trademark payoff if the iPhone maker releases a smartwatch with that name. Its Spartan website certainly gives us plenty of reasons to consider the latter theory.

Here’s OMG’s iWatch concept pitch they used to raise money through crowdfunding.

A small firm filing for a trademark to troll for a trademark payoff certainly wouldn’t be unheard-of. Apple, of course, could ask the courts to revoke such bogus filings provided a troll hasn’t actually created and marketed a product with that name. We at least now know why Apple hasn’t moved yet to trademark ‘iWatch’ in the United States.

iWatch Japan
Apple’s ‘iWatch’ trademark filing.

As for the United Kingdom and the European Community member countries, MacWorld UK searched the countries Intellectual Property Office website finding that  a Community trademark on ‘iWatch’ belongs to Probendi Inc., a network services firm listed under an Italian address though its website reveals its Delaware, US origins.

“Its product brochure, on the other hand, lists a trading address in Bogota, in Colombia,” the publication has discovered. Probendi may want to use the iWatch brand in conjunction with its app that “sends real-time audio, video and location data to the Critical Governance platform,” as seen below.

Probendi iWatch app

Probendi has held the iWatch trademark in Europe since 2008, and seems to be making use of it, so a legal battle for use of the term seems likely. If Apple creates an iWatch at all, of course.

Following the initial iWatch trademark filings in Russia and Japan, Apple recently moved to trademark ‘iWatch’ in Turkey, Taiwan, Colombia, Mexico and in other countries abroad.

All of this fuels ongoing rumors that Apple is working on a wearable, smartwatch-like device.