Apple files for 'iWatch' trademark in Japan

Apple files for 'iWatch' trademark in Japan

Summary: Tech firms are eyeing up the possibilities of wearable technology, and Apple has taken one of the first definitive steps in branding.

TOPICS: Apple, Japan

Apple has filed with the Japan Patent Office to secure a trademark for the "iWatch."

As reported by Bloomberg, the iPad and iPhone maker's June 3 filing with the JPO was made public last week. The filing is categorized to protect products products "including a handheld computer or watch device."

The application follows reports that Apple has employed over 100 product engineers and designers to develop a watch that would run on the iOS system and would be able to complete some of the same tasks that the iPhone and iPad are capable of.

In March, Samsung's mobile tech vice president Lee Young Hee confirmed that the smartphone maker was in the process of developing its own smart watch. In an interview, Hee commented:

"We've been preparing the watch product for so long. We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."

Microsoft may also be toying with the idea, according to recent patent filings.

If Apple manages to launch a smart watch product before larger rivals including Samsung, the move could help the Cupertino., Calif-based company rejuvenate the balance sheet. In recent times, Apple's share price has plummeted, leading the company to launch a $100 billion capital return program to appease shareholders, borrowing $17 billion in the process via a bond sale.

Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen believes that the global watch market is worth $60 billion a year. If Apple secured ten percent of this market, launching an "iWatch" would be a "$6 billion opportunity for Apple," with profit margins close to $3.6 billion.

Interest in wearable computing has spiked in recent months. After releasing prototypes to developers, Google's Glass project -- headsets that can run applications through a small screen close to the corner of one eye -- has hit the media, becoming a catalyst for discussion over how wearable computing fits in to modern society, and how privacy can be maintained.

Topics: Apple, Japan

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  • Apple would need to seek permission from Intertime before commencing trade

    The trademark iw@ch (phonetically IWATCH) belongs to Intertime (FE) Holdings Ltd, Hong Kong; the internationally famous manufacturer of VOILA Watches & iw@ch as per Japanese Trademark Certificate 4400665 dated July 14, 2000.
    Roger N Serena Khemlani
  • ILikeToWatch

    Excuse me, I'm extremely Apple. Can you give me some market share?
  • More trademarks from Apple

    They also announced trademarks for iCrap and iPoop. They hsaven't decided which name they will choose but they intend on making a toilet that will be able to connect to the Internet for all your surfing needs. In addition, it will have its own version of iTunes. [Of course Apple will deny that the high end toilet will send to Apple servers exactly how much you crapped and p?ssed.]
  • Officialy, it would seem that Apple has run out of ideas,

    and the best that they can come up with lately...

    is the iWatch?

    How innovative?

    That's an "also ran' technology if there ever was one.

    Apple's market cap will be dropping like cows inside a tornado (no direction, no control, no hope, help!, the end!).
  • What if the iWatch isn't a watch at all?

    What if the iWatch isn't a watch at all? Read my theory at
    • Highly unlikely, and, if the technology is out there for a new kind of TV,

      then it's not an exclusive to Apple. Others will know about the technology by now, and no TV tech innovator would allow Apple to be the exclusive owner of the technology. Besides, Apple is not in the TV tech business, and whatever it has, will be coming from a second party innovator, like Sony or Vizio or Samsung, thus, not Apple's iTV-tech.

      But, that silly link you provided is likely owned by someone who is in love with Apple, and is just doing a lot of wishful thinking.