Existing Trademark blocks Apple Watch sale in Switzerland
In latest news, Apple has been banned from launching its new Watch in Switzerland as in other European countries, scheduled to be on April 24, 2015, because of an Intellectual Property Rights issue. They cannot use the image of an apple or the word ‘apple’ to launch their product in Switzerland because of a trademark from 1985.
The trademark currently belongs to William Longe, who owns watch brand, Leonard, that first filed the trademark application. He applied to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property to register the trademark on December 5, 1985 which was approved and registered on February 28, 1986 with an image of an apple. The protection of which expires on December 5, 2015. The trademark application was filed under international class 14 which covers “Precious metals and their alloys and goods in these materials or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewellery, precious stones; clocks and timepieces”.
The trademark owned by Longe is in the class consisting watches with the name Apple and the logo showing an Apple. The Apple Watch also has the name Apple and shows an Apple logo, due to which it cannot be launched in Switzerland without violating the trademark. Apple is also prevented from broadcasting any advertising using the name and logo.
Swiss watchmakers are doing everything they can to protect their market from invasion from their competitor Apple. The Swiss business directory notes the activity of Leonard Timepieces SA, as being “Leasing of intellectual property and similar products, except copyrighted works”. This means that they may not be manufacturing a watch under an ‘Apple’ brand. However, anyone who wants to purchase the Apple Watch can still buy it from Germany, France and any neighbouring country.