Apple’s newest device the Apple Watch, which was released a few months ago, is now the subject of a trademark dispute with a European trademark holder. Probendi, an Irish software development company and owner of the rights to the “iWatch” trademark in the European Union, is upset that Apple bought Google ads for the term “iWatch”. If you run a Google search of the term “iWatch”, the top result and advertisement will be for the Apple Watch.
Probendi, filed a lawsuit on June 26 with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the “iWatch” term in its advertisements. According to a tribunal filing, Probendi claims that “Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on the Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch,” the document says.
Probendi co-founder Daniele Di Salvo claimed that the company was working on an Android smartwatch that would use the “iWatch” name and undercut the Apple Watch price. Di Salvo further claimed that the company had warned Apple against using the term “iWatch” before the release of the Apple Watch.
In 2012, Apple paid $60 million to settle a trademark dispute in China over the rights to use the name iPad. Even though Apple’s newest product is not called “iWatch”, Di Salvo and Probendi might be “licking their chops” to get some of that Apple money as well. A hearing for the “iWatch” case is scheduled for November 11, 2015 in Italy.