Apple sued by Irish firm over 'iWatch' term
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Apple sued by Irish firm over 'iWatch' term

AN Irish software and apps development company, Probendi, has filed a case with a court in Milan protesting Apple's alleged use of the term 'iWatch' in adverts.

The small Dublin-based company owns the 'iWatch' trademark in Europe, while the tech giant's smartwatch is known simply as Apple Watch.

It was widely assumed pre-release that Apple would call their product iWatch, following the trend set by the company's existing products like iPhone, iPad and iMac.

Probendi alleges that Apple is using the term 'iWatch' in ads it pays Google for, in order to direct potential customers, who search for the term, to an Apple website.

Bloomberg, the financial news organisation, reports that the Dublin-based company’s document reads: “Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch.”

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Probendi co-founder Daniele Di Salvo said last year that the company had warned Apple against using the name, adding that his company was working on a smartwatch of its own.

He claimed it would undercut the Apple Watch in price, run Google’s Android software, and carry the name iWatch. Di Salvo now says the project is “in standby".

Probendi, on its somewhat sparse website, confirms that it is prepared to take legal action against anyone infringing its trademark copyright.

Its website proclaims: “Probendi Limited is the sole entity lawfully entitled to use the name ‘iWatch’ for products such as ‘Apple Watch’ within the European Union, and will promptly take all appropriate legal actions to oppose any unauthorized use of ‘iWatch’ by whomever for that kind of products.”

Its website carries no information as to when its iWatch will be available for purchase.

In 2012 Apple paid $60million to resolve a dispute in China over the iPad.

Apple Inc. also had name and logo trademark issues with Apple Corps, the Beatles company started in 1967. The dispute ran for almost three decades before a settlement was finally reached in 2007.

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Google’s says it evaluates trademark complaints on a case-by-case basis and “may enforce certain restrictions".

A hearing for the iWatch case is scheduled for November 11.