The new Apple smart watch is due to be released in 9 countries on 24 April 2015. However, the release of the watch in Switzerland has reportedly been delayed due to an earlier filed trade mark registration.
The earlier trade mark registration, which has been mistakenly reported by many to be a patent, is held in the name of Leonard Time Pieces. The earlier registration is for an image of an apple, together with the word APPLE and covers "watches and fittings" in class 14.
Apple Inc. has filed trade mark registrations worldwide (including in Switzerland) for the mark APPLE WATCH covering goods and services including watches in class 14, and most applications are currently pending.
The earlier registration of word APPLE for "watches and fittings" in class 14 in the name of Leonard Time Pieces was filed in 1985 and is due for renewal at the end of this year. The registration can be renewed indefinitely for further ten year periods. If the mark is renewed it may still be vulnerable to removal from the Swiss Trade Marks Register on the basis that a mark which has been unused in Switzerland for a period of five years or more can be removed for non-use.
It is still unclear whether or not Leonard Time Pieces has objected to Apple's use of the mark but it is likely that if they have objected a settlement will be reached to allow Apple to use the mark in Switzerland. Apple faced similar situations when it launched the iPhone and iPad and in both cases a settlement was reached with the relevant parties.in: Companies, Digital/Tech, News, Trade Marks