TOKYO Apple is seeking a trademark for “iWatch” in Japan as rival Samsung Electronics readies its own wearable computing device.
The world’s most valuable technology company and maker of the iPhone is seeking protection for the name, listed in a category for products such as a hand-held computer or watch, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office that was made public last week. Takashi Takebayashi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Apple, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s shares have retreated more than 40 percent from a record high in September amid concern that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has taken too long to deliver a new breakthrough product to help make up for stiffer iPhone competition. The company has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the company’s plans said in February.
Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, is developing a wristwatch, the company said in March. Sony has sold its SmartWatch, which wirelessly connects to phones using Google’s Android operating system and allows users to take calls and reply to e-mails or texts, for more than a year.
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