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Swatch wins round against Apple in slogan war

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The Swatch group has won a case in a UK court in an appeal against the tech giant Apple in a dispute over the use for promotional purposes of the expression “One more thing”.

The colossus of Cupertino has been opposed since 2015 to the use by the Biel watchmaker of an emblematic phrase of its founder, the late Steve Jobs (died in 2011, editor’s note), during his famous product presentations, then taken up by his successor Tim Cook, especially at the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015. Swatch says for its part that the expression “One more thing” has nothing to do with the apple brand, but that it refers to a line made famous by the character of Lieutenant Columbo, in the eponymous TV series broadcast in the 70s and 80s.

3-0 for Swatch

In a judgment, the High Court of Justice recalls that a first decision had been pronounced in favor of Apple in October 2017 by the British authority in charge of trademark and patent litigation, against which Swatch had appealed. In his recitals, the judge considered that even if the watch group had wished to “annoy Apple” that could not be considered as bad faith, and that the fact of using “a sign which reminds another actor in the some consumers’ mind in a fun but harmless way ”does not constitute improper business practice.

Contacted Tuesday, the management of Swatch declined to comment on the information. In April 2019, the Federal Administrative Court had already ruled in favor of Swatch against Apple concerning the use by the watchmaker of the slogan “Tick different”, which the apple brand had decried as a violation of its “Think Different” advertising campaign. .

The Biel watchmaker, for his part, had successfully opposed the filing by the Californian giant of the “iWatch” brand for its smart watch, too similar to “iSwatch”, forcing the latter to fall back on “Apple Watch”. .

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