This unassuming and inexpensive little watch has been the center of a legal row between tech giant Apple and Swiss watchmaking giant Swatch. With the playful Swatch Bellamy “Tick Different” watch, Apple considered Swatch to be profiting from the reference to their well-known “Think Different” advertising slogan (used between 1997 and 2002). According to Reuters, however, a Swiss court has found that the Apple slogan was not sufficiently recognized in Switzerland and that less than 50% of the Swiss population would associate it with the phrase on the Swatch watch’s dial. (One point scored by Swatch.) Ironically, Apple’s original “Think Different” slogan was seen at the time as a play on IBM’s simple “Think.”
The Cupertino company likes to flaunt that its Apple Watch is the best-selling watch in the world in terms of number of units sold, and the traditional watch industry can do little to compete except reposition itself and try to assert its continued relevance. There is more, however, to the legal differences than Apple lacking a sense of humor. Did you know, for example, why the Apple Watch is so named rather than being called the “iWatch,” as everyone expected? It’s apparently because Swatch used and trademarked “iSwatch” first. Swatch has even moved to trademark late Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s keynote catchphrase “One More Thing,” which Apple also failed to block. These are the small victories for traditional watches fighting for a place on your wrist.
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