Copyright © 2016
Tag - Trademarks
Apple has filed to trademark the term "HealthKit" in the US and the European Union, documents show. The US application covers "computer software used in developing other software applications," and "application development software." In the EU however, Apple's trademark may achieve a wider scope, covering not just computers and peripherals but health, fitness, and medical sensors and services, along with timekeeping devices.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has blocked an Apple attempt to trademark the Touch ID technology currently used on the iPhone 5s. The ruling was made in May, but only disclosed this week. In its decision, the USPTO cites "likelihood of confusion" with a previously-registered trademark for "Kronos Touch ID." Both are biometric recognition systems, although Kronos' product is a punchclock technology used in environments like retail stores.
The European Court of Justice has issued a decision granting Apple an EU trademark on the layout of its retail stores. The ruling (PDF) states that "the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," giving the trademark scope enough to cover all of Apple's locations.
A representative for Swatch says that the company will attempt to block Apple attempts to trademark the "iWatch" name, according to Watson. The Swiss watchmaker has an "iSwatch" line of watches, and claims that Apple calling its product the iWatch could cause confusion. US filings indicate that Swatch has blocked attempts by other entities to trademark "iWatch" in the past.
Apple is using at least two shell companies to secure trademarks on future names for OS X, reports claim. On the same day in early December, two firms -- Yosemite Research LLC and Coast Research LLC -- are said to have filed for US trademarks on several California-related names. The former applied for "Yosemite," "Redwood, "and "Mammoth," while Coast pursued "California," "Big Sur," and "Pacific."
Apple appears to be using a shell company, "Brightflash USA LLC," to covertly register iWatch trademarks around the world, reports say. The firm is registered in Delaware, and has been tied to past trademarking efforts by Apple. The company has already requested iWatch trademarks in the US, the UK, Australia, the European Union, and Denmark. It has also filed for a trademark in dozens of other countries, ranging from smaller ones like Albania and Iceland through to China and India.
Apple is hoping to extend international trademarks on its name into Class 14, an area covering "jewelry, clocks and watches," reports say. In late December, the company is said to have applied for Class 14 protection in Ecuador, presumably as a shortcut to getting its priority recognized in more significant regions like the US and Europe. Similar filings were made in Mexico in early January, Norway in mid-February, and the UK in March. In the latter two countries, Apple applied for protections in a variety of other classes as well.
A small-time inventor in New Zealand has accomplished something Samsung has not: he has won against Apple in court. The case revolved around Hayden Crowther's use of the name "driPhone" for his line of waterproof phone cases. Apple, obligated by trademark law to "aggressively" protect its trademarks or risk losing them, sued over the concern that consumers would think the cases were an Apple product. A New Zealand court disagreed.
Apple has won an appeal allowing it to continue using the "iPhone" trademark in Brazil. A local company, IGB Electronica, earlier argued in court that it had exclusive Brazilian rights to the name, since it first filed for a trademark in 2000, seven years before the Apple iPhone would be announced. That trademark was granted in 2008 though, and IGB only released its Android-based Gradiente iphone in December 2012, a month before the trademark was due to expire. Nevertheless, Brazil's Institute of Industry Property recently ruled in favor of IGB, prompting the Apple appeal.
Case and accessory maker OtterBox has won another court case against a counterfeiter, gaining a $2 million verdict against S & P Trading, a New York-based company that was found guilty of selling at least 146,000 fake OtterBox cases. The company has aggressively gone after unauthorized replica makers, and in 2012 helped US Customs seize 118,000 other counterfeit items, and won other court cases against bogus product sellers for a total of nearly $11 million. OtterBox holds more than 190 patents in the US and 110 trademarks worldwide.