It looks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be forced to have to wait until December before it can duke it out with Swiss watch makers in their home turf in Switzerland.
According to Swiss network RTS, Leonard, a watch brand from the European country, actually owns a patent on the use of an image of an apple or the word “apple” on a watch sold inside the country.
The catch, however, is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be able to release its Apple Watch in Switzerland this year, just later in December, as the Leonard patent expires then. Its expiry is December 5, to be exact. The product is expected to hit the stores later this month.
Reuters was the first global news organization to pick up the news. The news organization says that a copy of the patent granted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, a verification of which can be seen here if you are able to read French, was first published by Business Montres & Joaillerie, according to RTS.
The patent was issued to Leonard in 1985. Reading the document embedded by RTS on its site, one can see a split image of an apple with the word “APPLE” placed in the horizontal space created by the split. According to Reuters, the patent which is about to give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a headache is owned by William Longe who owns Leonard.
The Apple Watch is particularly important for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) because it is their first new product, in a product category they have never developed in before, since the iPad was released. Some industry observers say that this is the first device truly developed under the guidance of Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Swiss watch makers, known the world over for their reputation in making fine timepieces, will also be closely watching how the Apple Watch performs in the market, just not their home market for now, it seems.
Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management owned about 7.95 million Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares by the end of 2014.
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