23 April 2019Trademarks

Apple fails to stop Swatch’s ‘one more thing’ TM

Apple has been unsuccessful in its bid to stop Swiss watchmaker  Swatch from securing a trademark for the phrase ‘one more thing’.

The Australian intellectual property office,  IP Australia, said Apple could not stop Swatch from registering the phrase because the iPhone-maker had never used it in connection with its products.

Apple had filed an opposition to Swatch’s application for the mark, arguing that the phrase ‘one more thing’ has a strong association with Apple and was often used by its co-founder, Steve Jobs, in presentations when revealing a new product.

Separate from its opposition, Apple also applied to trademark the phrase for itself in Australia.

But, the IP office said the words were “used once before introducing a particular new product or service by Apple”, but “are then never used again in relation to that product or service”.

It said Apple’s “patchy and temporary” use of the phrase does not give the indication of a trade source.

Additionally, the office said the phrase carries an ordinary meaning: “simply that the speaker is about to say something else”.

In its argument, Swatch said it uses the phrase to market a set of watches inspired by the “film noir” genre.

It said the use of ‘one more thing’ in its advertising was inspired by a character, the detective Columbo, who would often use the phrase when interviewing suspects.

Earlier this month, a Swiss court handed a victory to Swatch over Apple in a trademark dispute over the slogan ‘Tick Different’.

Apple failed to convince the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland that Swatch’s ‘Tick different’ slogan infringed its “Think Different” advertising campaign.

In its ruling, the court said Apple had not produced enough evidence to show that its ‘Think different’ trademark was well-known enough in Switzerland to warrant protection.

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More on this story

3 April 2019   Swiss watchmaker Swatch has been handed a victory in a legal dispute with Apple, after the iPhone maker said a Swatch slogan infringed one of its trademarks.
26 October 2020   The company holding IP rights relating to racing driver Lewis Hamilton has failed in its attempt to obtain a declaration of invalidity of a trademark filed by watchmaker Hamilton.
31 March 2021   Apple has lost a legal challenge levied at Swiss watchmaker Swatch to prevent it registering Steve Job’s famous phrase “one more thing” as a trademark.