Apple Seeks to Trademark ‘IWatch’ in Japan for Devices
By Naoko Fujimura & Takashi Amano - Jul 1, 2013 12:01 AM ET
Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s most valuable technology company, is seeking a trademark for “iWatch” in Japan as rival Samsung Electronics Co. readies its own wearable smartphone device.
The maker of iPhones is seeking protection for the name which is categorized as being for products including a handheld computer or watch device, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office that was made public last week. Takashi Takebayashi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Apple, didn’t respond to a message left at his office seeking comment on the application.
The Apple Inc. logo is displayed outside the company’s store in Tokyo. Photographer: Koichi Kamoshida/Bloomberg
Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the company’s plans said in February. Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, is developing a wristwatch, the company said in March.
Sony Corp. (6758) has sold its SmartWatch for more than a year, which wirelessly connects to smartphones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system and allows users to take calls and reply to e-mails or texts.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is in need of a new revolutionary gadget that follows the iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computers, as the company has gone without introducing a new product since October.
A Sony Mobile Communications Inc. SmartWatch MN2 is displayed at the Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo. Photographer: Koichi Kamoshida/Bloomberg
Apple has slumped 25 percent this year amid slowing sales growth and competition from rivals such as Samsung. The Cupertino, California-based company make rose 0.7 percent to $396.53 in New York trading June 28.
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