According to a report in Russian newspaper Izvestia, Apple is attempting to trademark “iWatch” in Russia.
There’s been no official confirmation from Apple of an iWatch-like product, but it’s widely believed that Apple sources intentionally leaked information about a wrist-based personal computing accessory to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the New York Times, and Apple has reportedly ordered 1.5″ OLED screens for testing and prototyping.
In addition, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that wearable computing is “another key branch on the tree” of the evolution of the post-PC world — and fully as game-changing as the smartphone or tablet.
Izvestia says Apple has filed an application for iWatch with Rospatent, the Russian patent office, in two classes: computers/peripherals, and time/watches. VentureBeat could not independently confirm that.
If Apple is indeed filing a patent for iWatch, it will face some serious competition, as sharp-eyed businesspeople with flexible ethics have already snapped up domains like iwatch.com. A Russian businessman owns i-watch.ru, and another Russian enterprise attempted to trademark iWatch several years ago.
That petition was denied due to its similarity to watch manufacturer Swatch’s iSwatch trademark.
But Apple has apparently already snapped up iWatch as a trademark in Jamaica — where major international companies often file first to avoid public scrutiny — and is using that trademark as leverage to gain the Russian trademark. That trademark dates to December 2012.
All of this, of course, could be a smokescreen by Apple just to keep us guessing.
A full 20 percent of U.S. consumers, apparently, would be interested in purchasing an Apple iWatch, if such a product existed.
I’ve contacted Apple for comment and will update this post as needed.