3 April 2019Trademarks

Swiss court sides with Swatch against Apple in slogan dispute

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.

In  a ruling released on Tuesday, April 2, the  Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland said Swatch’s ‘Tick different’ slogan does not infringe Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign.

Apple took legal action against Swatch in 2017, objecting to the watchmaker’s use of the slogan to promote its near field communication-enabled watch.

But the court ruled in March that Apple had not produced enough evidence to show that its ‘Think different’ trademark was well-known enough in Switzerland to warrant protection.

Apple had the burden to prove that more than 50% of the Swiss population would wrongly associate Swatch’s ‘tick different’ with Apple and its products.

Apple has been notably active in trying to protect its ‘Think different’ mark.

In August 2018,  Apple failed to convince Singapore’s IP office that Swatch should not be able to register ‘Tick different’ in the country because it is “confusingly similar” to its registration for “Think different”.

But the office said the marks are more dissimilar than similar. It added that even if the marks were marginally similar, there would be no reasonable likelihood of confusion anyway.

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More on this story

21 August 2018   Apple has failed to convince Singapore’s IP office that Swatch’s applied-for trademark ‘Tick different’ is confusingly similar to its registration for ‘Think different’.
23 April 2019   Apple has been unsuccessful in its bid to stop Swiss watchmaker Swatch from securing a trademark for the phrase ‘one more thing’.