Apple sued by Dublin company over use of ‘iWatch’ in Apple Watch searches

16 Jul 2015

Apple is being sued by an Irish company over the use of the term 'iWatch' in Google searches for the Apple Watch.

Apple is being sued by an Irish apps development company over the use of the term iWatch in Google search advertising for the Apple Watch.

Apple does not use the iWatch brand but does include it in Google ad searches to redirect consumers towards the Apple Watch.

Dublin-based apps development company Probendi filed an urgent procedure on 26 June with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the iWatch term in its ads.

Probendi owns the iWatch trademark in Europe.

The company warned Apple against using the term last year, but the tech giant went ahead and used the term in Google ads just in case people searching for the Apple Watch typed in iWatch by mistake.

Apple has no product called the iWatch but is being sued by Dublin firm

On Probendi’s website the company made the following statement:

“The recent public announcement of ‘Apple Watch’, the new wrist wearable device/smart watch by Apple Inc., has been preceded and followed by persistent rumours identifying said product with the name ‘iWatch’.

“Probendi Limited hereby informs to be the exclusive holder of the Community trademark ‘iWatch’ No. EU007125347, registered for computers and software effective as of 3 August, 2008.

“Consequently, 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 unauthorised use of ‘iWatch’ by whomever for that kind of products.”

Probendi, which is headed by Daniele di Salvo, is understood to have been working on an Android-based smartwatch of its own.

According to a Bloomberg report, an audit by Barzano & Zanrdo on behalf of Probendi valued the iWatch trademark at €87m.

In 2012, Apple paid US$60m to settle a trademark dispute in China over the name iPad.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years