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Originally posted 2013-07-05 12:57:34.
By Caroline Lau | amdlawgroup.com
This past June, Apple has filed for a trademark on the name “iWatch” in Taiwan, Japan, Russia and Mexico, and reportedly in Turkey, Chile and Colombia as well. Analysts take the term to imply that a new ‘smart watch’ is in the works to be released by the tech company; however, the trademark applications could just be a protective move to reserve the name itself, or it could signify a different type of product altogether (some have speculated at television technology, for example).
It still seems most likely that Apple is entering the emerging market for wearable technology, as a wrist gadget would fit the product categories including “computers”, “peripheral devices” and “personal digital assistants” besides the filing for registration under a clock-related category in Mexico. In Taiwan, Apple applied to trademark “iWatch” under categories inclusive of a variety of electronics and technology products and another category protecting “horological and chronometric instruments” and “precious metals and their alloys”.
Other tech giants have already been developing their versions of the smart watch, with Qualcomm filing a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office on June 26th for a “personal communication hub in the form of a wristwatch” dubbed TOQ. It isn’t certain whether TOQ is to be consumer level device or used for displaying Qualcomm’s chipset hardware. On the other hand, Apple’s biggest rival Samsung also staked an intellectual property claim last week on a potential name for its smart watch—among other technologies—product, called the “Samsung Gear”. The trademark filing mentions “watches that communicate data to personal digital assistants”, a description that is on par with the functions that currently appear to be attributed to smart watch design. Sony also introduced around the same time their SmartWatch 2 in Shanghai, which uses near field communication (NFC) technology to connect to Android Smartphones through Bluetooth.
The new trend in the technology industry is pointing to the development of wearable technology, namely smart watches that would work compatibly with the ubiquitous smart phone. Companies are rushing to patent their technology and trademark their product names in anticipation of the wave of high-tech watches to hit the global market.
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The New York Times. (July 2, 2013). Apple’s Trademark of ‘iWatch’ Fuels Speculation. Retrieved July 3, 2013 from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/apples-trademark-of-iwatch-fuels-speculation/
The Los Angeles Times. (July 2, 2013). Apple reportedly seeks ‘iWatch’ trademark in half-dozen countries. Retrieved on July 3, 2013 from http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-apple-iwatch-trademark-countries-20130702,0,5571490.story
Android Community. (July 1, 2013). Qualcomm TOQ patent hints at future smartwatch . Retrieved on July 3, 2013 from http://androidcommunity.com/qualcomm-toq-patent-hints-at-future-smartwatch-20130701/
Mashable. (July 3, 2013). Trademark Filing Hints Samsung Will Name its Smart Watch ‘Gear’. Retrieved on July 3, 2013 from http://mashable.com/2013/07/03/samsung-gear/
Phandroid. (June 25,2013). Sony Introduces the SmartWatch 2 with NFC. Retrieved on July 3, 2013 from http://phandroid.com/2013/06/25/sony-smartwatch-2-video/
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