Apple reportedly has made filings in four different countries to extend its corporate trademark protection to include jewelry and watches, though it hasn’t yet moved to do so in the United States.
The move is seen as an indication that Apple will introduce its “iWatch” relatively soon and that, perhaps, it also has intentions of getting into wearable technology or so called smart jewelry – bracelets, etc. that serve a function, such as counting steps or keeping track of sun exposure.
In a study of 520 people, 44% of consumers said they would buy ‘smart’ jewelry. Of the 44% who would buy smart jewelry, about 55 % said that they would be really interested if this type of security technology could be added via a chip to a piece of jewelry that they already own.
According to an article published Monday on MacRumor.com, a technology website that focuses on news about Apple and its products, Apple filed trademark applications in Ecuador, (late December) Mexico, (January) Norway (February) and the United Kingdom, (March) adding protection in Class 14 for the name “Apple”.
Trademarks are sorted into 45 different classes that are adhered to worldwide. Watches and jewelry are part of Class 14, which is specifically defined as “precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewelry, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments”, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
This all follows Apple’s filings for the term “iWatch,” which is the rumored, though not confirmed, name for the smartwatch Apple is expected to unveil relatively soon. It began making the watch last June.
While it’s working to expand its jewelry and watch trademarks worldwide, the name “Apple” is not covered under Class 14 at all in the United States. Apple has not yet registered the name “iWatch” here either.
Apple’s filing frenzy is seen an indication the “iWatch” will debut sometime in 2014, following competitors such as Samsung and Google into the smartwatch space but not necessarily lagging behind.
Historically, Apple is never the first to enter a market. Apple lets others, sometimes many others, experiment first. After studying early entrants’ successes and failures, Apple launches their category killer.