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Apple’s iWatch Obstacle: Moniker Already Trademarked US, EU and China

Just as we predicted earlier this month, Apple is having problems registering the iWatch moniker for its upcoming smartwatch in several countries, most notable among them US, UK and China because it is already trademarked by other companies or individuals.  Just the other day, the final confirmation that Apple is working on a smartwatch came as it was revealed that the company had managed to trademark the iWatch moniker in various countries including Taiwan, Japan, Russia and Mexico.

iWatch

The iWatch Moniker is not particularly the most creative name for a wrist device out there, especially since the prefix ‘i’ is very popular with anything technological.  Apple, it appears, is going to face a big hurdle in many countries if it has plans to sell the device globally like it does the iPhone, iPad and iPod among other products the company makes.

The first sign of trouble is that in the biggest and most significant markets for the company’s products, US, UK and China, the company will have to negotiate the transfer of the iWatch moniker rights from the current trademark owners to them in order to sell the iWatch in these markets.  The alternative would be to launch the watch, which is already said to be in the early stages of design, in a different name.  According to NY Times, Probendi, an Italian software company, owns the iWatch trademark in the European Union.

Transferring the iWatch moniker to Apple would be a complicated and very expensive process, especially if the trademark owners are established companies.

Smartwatch battery patent

Apple has patented an innovative wearable device battery pack and was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office just yesterday.  This new technology is just one more piece to the smartwatch puzzle which the company is completely mum about.

Apple iWatch Battery

According to the patent description as published by TUAW, the flexible battery pack is ‘for use on electronic devices to overcome one or more drawbacks of a conventional battery pack’.  Several battery cells, which may be made from photovoltaic or galvanic cells, are shaped to include a plurality of laminate layers or may be stacked one on top of another in laminate layers.  What is clear though is that the battery pack is meant for a wearable device – most likely a smartwatch.

Other companies are working on smartwatches with intent to enter the market, which seems very slow as of now.  Sony has already released a smartwatch and is working on another to be released within the month in the UK.  Pebble was among the first to sell the smartwatch and other companies including Samsung, Nike and Fitbit have theirs or are said to be working on them.

Apple’s iWatch smartwatch was initially rumored to come in May 2014 but shortly after word was that release was pushed to later in the year.

Sources: Ubergizmo and Patently Apple via TUAW