I love it when Apple...
get it up them! They've been doing this kind of thing to other people for years! I hope they have to pay through the nose for it!
Cupertino's lawyers must hasten with all fair speed to Milan, where Irish company Probendi has filed a suit alleging infringement of the latter's iWatch trademark. Apple has placed an advertisement with Google to link to its wristjob when users search for the "iWatch", presumably to catch the eyes of novitiate fanbois not yet …
but are Probendi actively using the trademark or are they just a patent troll?
You know that trademarks and patents are different things, right? IANAL, but I think that the laws around trademarks are such that if you don't actively defend them, you risk losing them. AFAIK there aren't any similar rules for patents so failing to sue for patent infringement (or sitting on it until it becomes more worthwhile to do so) doesn't invalidate your rights as a patent holder. If I'm right on these points then there shouldn't be any such thing as a "trademark troll".
Far from being a troll, I'm pretty sure that Probendi are pretty much forced to take action here.
It's almost certainly a trademark troll. I assume they tried to sell the trademark to Apple for a huge sum and were rebuffed.
From what Ars Technica says, buying ads with a competitor's trademark as keyword has generally been ruled legal, as long as the trademark does not appear in the text of the ad. So I imagine they're out of luck on this one.
Should I sue Samsung for calling their latest phone the DougS? No, because it is the Galaxy S6....makes as much sense as this suit.
Maybe they're worried Apple plans to change the name to iWatch and this is a preliminary suit to given them proven rights in court - so they can charge Apple $100 million for the name. Not sure about Milan, but in the US the courts would throw this out immediately since Apple isn't using the name iWatch for anything!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So iWatch would, were it not iWatch call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which it owes
Without that title. iWatch, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
with Tim Cook in the role of Juliet
Fair play to them. Sounds like a good long-term investment to me:
* Get out crystal ball and/or chicken entrails
* Divine which market Apple intend 'disrupting' next
* Register trademark with that word preceded by the letter "I"
* Wait a few years for said market to emerge
* Consult Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne
[Goes off to register iHome as a trademark]
What's wrong with the Emerald Isle. After all almost everything is Green(backs) there.
Is Milan in danger of becoming the East Texas of the EU?
Come on El Reg, why don't you try to find these essential bits of information out. PErhaps Probendi will be more forthcoming with quotes than (nasty rotten) Apple?
I was talking to a friend of mine in the pub about this. While that may seem an indication that this information is not high quality, I'd note that he is a patent attorney that deals with exactly this sort of thing.
Apparently the Italian trademark legal system is the least efficient and most arkward one to deal with. If you were seeking a settlement and wanted to make it least appealing to contest this, you'd go there as the costs and annoyance to a business would be much more.
He also suggested they had a very poor case because iWatch is such a weak trademark (watch is useless as a trademark because it's descriptive, and everyone's putting an "i" in front of things), but I'll leave it to him if he wants to come on here and share the rest of his view on this :).
Apple (in the UK at least) use the term "Apple Watch". I could find no reference to "Apple iWatch" being used directly by Apple, so they have simply paid money to Google in the background to link the word to the product pages.
Google has a very clear policy on using trademark words in AdWords, the first Acton of which is for the trademark holder to file a complaint with Google.
So much as I like the schadenfreude of Apple being sued, this is never going to see a court or even result in a settlement
Didst thou miss the enlightenment of this issue within yon article - "Apple has placed an advertisement with Google to link to its wristjob when users search for the "iWatch", presumably to catch the eyes of novitiate fanbois not yet to fully au fait with the wristjob's true branding." ?
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