Ever wondered why Apple’s first smartwatch is called the Apple Watch instead of the iWatch? The “i’ prefix is synonymous with Apple’s family of products, but its first-ever smartwatch is called the Apple Watch. So, why the sudden change?
In all likelihood, Apple would have been selling the iWatch today if it weren’t for a company called OMG Electronics LLC. The dodgy-sounding company secured the “iWatch” trademark (which it proudly mentions in its promotional video for the iWatch) before opening an Indiegogo campaign in September 2012 for the ‘development and creation of the ultimate mobile device that has the benefits of a wrist watch’ – which would supposedly be the iWatch. The “iWatch” trademark was rubberstamped by the US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2012.
In the end, the campaign turned out to be a failure as OMG Electronics only managed to raise $1,434 (about RM5,300) out of the $100,000 (about RM371,000) – with just seven funders.
OMG Electronics is not the only one. In June 2007, New-York-based M.Z. Berger & Co. applied for the iWatch name but was opposed by Swiss watchmaker, Swatch. The Swiss company claimed that it would cause confusion with Swatch’s registered product names. Meanwhile in the European Union, network service business company, Probendi has owned the iWatch trademark since 2008, and the company is not afraid of taking action towards companies that infringe the trademark.
Hence, it appears Apple will rather not play ball with these
trademark trolls companies to obtain the coveted “i” prefix and offer to pay handsome amounts of money to purchase the iWatch trademarks, but it does not seem to matter all that much: pre-orders for the Apple Watch has already been estimated at 957,000 units on 10 April 2015 alone.