An Irish software development firm called Probendi has sued Apple for the iWatch trademark. Apple has no product or software called iWatch but Probendi claims that the iPhone maker is paying for Google ads that show Apple Watch-related search results when a user searches for iWatch on Google's search engine.
Probendi filed a petition in a Milan court on June 26 that accuses Apple of violating the iWatch trademark held by Probendi in the European Union since 2008.
"Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on the Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch," claimed Probendi's petition.
Daniele Di Salvo, CEO and co-founder of Probendi, suggests that its iWatch software helps devices communicate with each other.
iDevices, such as the iPhone and iPad, with the prefix "i" are very popular, but Apple was not able to name its smartwatch iWatch probably because the trademark was already taken by another company.
Now Probendi is expected to take full advantage of its trademark iWatch. Di Salvo said that the company is planning to develop a wearable and will name it iWatch, which will run on Android 4.4 KitKat and will have a square touchscreen display.
Like many other wearables available on the market today, the Probendi iWatch is estimated to feature GPS and an accelerometer that facilitates health tracking. Di Salvo is also said to be traveling to China in search of a manufacturer that can make the iWatch for under $349, which is the base price tag of the Apple Watch.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that an audit conducted by Barzano & Zanardo, which specializes in copyright disputes, has valued the iWatch trademark at €87 million, or $128.5 million.
Apple has been surrounded with several trademark disputes in different parts of the world. In 2012, the company paid $60 million for settling a trademark issue in China over the rights to use the name iPad.
Probendi also stated on its official website that the company has the sole rights to use the name "iWatch" on its products. The first hearing of the case will be held on Nov. 11.