It should go without saying but….
EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal significantly changes formal requirements for making a valid priority claim.
In August 2014 Apple filed a design patent application in order to protect the basic appearance of the Apple Watch.
This application has now been accepted by the United States Patent and Trade Mark office.
This particular patent seeks to protect the overall look of the Apple Watch. Apple received a similar design patent for its iPad and iPhone which essentially protect a rectangular shape with rounded edges.
With regards to the exciting Apple Watch, the company filed for a square shape with rounded edges. The design patent also protects the placement and appearance of the crown, buttons, and the layout of the sensor array on the back of the Watch.
Some companies may still attempt to sell similar items, but could be throwing themselves into a sea of infringement claims, leading to a nasty bite from Apple.
Apple was also recently awarded two other patents for watch strap designs – the “Classic Buckle” and “Link Bracelet,” offering options for those customers looking for a fashionable finish.
The three models produced by Apple: Standard, Sport and Edition are protected under the same design patent which allows protection for 14 years.
For Apple customers, anyone with an iPhone 5 or newer model will be able to receive notifications and run apps with their watch including Apple Pay.
The one of a kind innovation doesn’t come cheap, with the price of the gold-plated Edition Watch set at £13,500, you will be expecting the watch to do much more than tell the time.
Competitors are also moving into the watch market. Sony and Samsung have discussed releasing smart watches of their own.
With Apple ensuring their newest product is adequately protected and other industry leaders creating similar merchandise are we awaiting a nasty infringement battle?
If you think your intellectual property is at risk of infringement, or you would like some advice on patents, trade marks, copyright and design, please contact one of our highly qualified attorneys.