Apple may be hiding behind 'Brightflash' dummy corporation to trademark 'iWatch' name

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2014
Signs that Apple is preparing to roll out a wearable device called the "iWatch" grew stronger Tuesday following a report that the company may have set up a shell corporation in Delaware designed to register iWatch trademarks without arousing suspicion.

Brightflash filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Brightflash filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office


The shell company, dubbed "Brightflash USA LLC," is registered to a Delaware corporate services company that Apple has used in the past to conduct similar surreptitious trademark registration operations. Brightflash was first discovered and connected to the iWatch moves by French site Consomac.

Brightflash has filed for or requested trademark registration for "iWatch" in at least five major jurisdictions: the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Australia, and Denmark.

Additionally, the company has filed in a number of smaller countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Bhutan, Botswana, China, Cuba, Curacao, Georgia, Ghana, Iceland, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Lesotho, Morocco, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Madagascar, Ex Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Serbia, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint-Martin, Syrian Arab Republic, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan , Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.
Brightflash has filed 'iWatch' trademark registrations in more than 50 jurisdictions around the world.
Each of those registrations is filed under international classification 14, covering jewelry, clocks, and watches. Apple recently updated their corporate trademark protection to include coverage under that class, lending even more credence to iWatch rumors.

Though many of the links between Apple and Brightflash could be considered circumstantial, there is at least one somewhat firm connection. Both companies used the same Ecuadorian intellectual property attorney -- Alejandro Ponce Martinez of Quevedo & Ponce -- to file Class 14 registrations in the country, as noted by MacRumors.

One factor working against the link is that Apple has already applied for several "iWatch" trademarks under its own name, notably in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Taiwan.

Despite the questions, Apple has used this obfuscation strategy successfully in the past, most recently the 2009 applications for "iSlate" and "iPad" trademarks in advance of the tablet's debut. The concept has been around for decades, famously used by Walt Disney to buy up large tracts of land in Florida for what would eventually become Walt Disney World at prices that would have been unavailable if the true buyer had been known.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    "number of smaller countries including .... China .... India"

    surprises me slightly either of those are considered "small" Anywhere on the Internet , let alone a site looking at Apple and the future
  • Reply 2 of 35
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Apple might simply be trademarking the name to ensure others do not use it without intent to use it themselves.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,514member

    It might not even be Apple that's registering the trademark. Just because Brightflash was used by Apple before doesn't mean this time it's for Apple. Who knows, maybe Samsung or a stock analyst is using Brightflash to mess things up for Apple.

  • Reply 4 of 35
    "Additionally, the company has filed in a number of smaller countries including ...... China......"

    So now China is considered a smaller country as compared to the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Australia, and Denmark?
  • Reply 5 of 35
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    negafox wrote: »
    Apple might simply be trademarking the name to ensure others do not use it without intent to use it themselves.

    Unlike copyrights, trademarks are lost if you don't use them.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Not to mention this Brightflash company is on Orange St. lol
  • Reply 7 of 35

    Well if they both use the same Ecuadorian attorney then it must be true!  Case closed.

  • Reply 8 of 35

    Canadians out of luck?

  • Reply 9 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Brightflash has filed for or requested trademark registration for "iWatch" in at least five major jurisdictions: the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Australia, and Denmark.



    Additionally, the company has filed in a number of smaller countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Bhutan, Botswana, China, Cuba, Curacao, Georgia, Ghana, Iceland, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Lesotho, Morocco, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Madagascar, Ex Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Serbia, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint-Martin, Syrian Arab Republic, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan , Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.

    Brightflash has filed 'iWatch' trademark registrations in more than 50 jurisdictions around the world.



    One factor working against the link is that Apple has already applied for several "iWatch" trademarks under its own name, notably in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Taiwan.

     

    I'm not seeing how Apple filing for the trademarks in those jurisdictions itself rules out it being behind Brightflash. I doubt Apple would be running around trying to scoop up the jurisdictions that Brightflash missed if it wasn't Apple.

  • Reply 10 of 35
    inoseyinosey Posts: 89member
    Yeah. I think Brightflash is Apple. Although, what seems strange to me is that Apple went ahead and registered the iWatch trademark under four countries, I don't get that. If they are hiding under Brightflash's shell then why not just file for those countries under Brightflash's name as well? I think it's a trick to throw us off, honestly. That way it looks like Apple tried but Brightflash snatched up the trademarks before.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    inoseyinosey Posts: 89member
    I'm not seeing how Apple filing for the trademarks in those jurisdictions itself rules out it being behind Brightflash. I doubt Apple would be running around trying to scoop up the jurisdictions that Brightflash missed if it wasn't Apple.
    yeah, I definitely think it's Apple too.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    from bizjournals, June 5, 2013: Delaware-based Brightflash USA files a U.S. trademark on a device called the iWatch, which covers a range of computer-connected watches and bracelets. The company doesn%u2019t have a website, and it appears it doesn%u2019t make its own products.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    inoseyinosey Posts: 89member
    from bizjournals, June 5, 2013: Delaware-based Brightflash USA files a U.S. trademark on a device called the iWatch, which covers a range of computer-connected watches and bracelets. The company doesn%u2019t have a website, and it appears it doesn%u2019t make its own products.
    Dead giveaway. Jigs up Apple
  • Reply 14 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,804member

    What pointless skullduggery.  Using shell corporations for this silliness is ridiculous behaviour.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    feynman wrote: »
    Not to mention this Brightflash company is on Orange St. lol

    Well, One Infinite Loop was too darned suspicious.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    crowley wrote: »
    What pointless skullduggery.  Using shell corporations for this silliness is ridiculous behaviour.

    And yet this is perfectly normal behavior for large companies. Try again.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    And yet this is perfectly normal behavior for large companies. Try again.

    Disney has done this with large land purchases so they wouldn't have the seller artificially jacking up the prices. It would be great if we didn't need any clandestine actions to protect our interests but we do. I certainly don't use my real name on internet forums and suggest others probably shouldn't either.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,804member
    And yet this is perfectly normal behavior for large companies. Try again.
    There is no rule that says perfectly normal cannot also be ridiculous.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    undefined

    Edit: Damn it, 'undefined'... What I HAD posted was that it appears that the building is registered to CT Corporation, whose wiki suggests that they specialise in trademark research. The MacRumors article states something similar, and goes further to say that thousands of companies are registered there. Going to (re)state the obvious and say Brightflash LLC is a shell company...
  • Reply 20 of 35
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,350moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Disney has done this with large land purchases so they wouldn't have the seller artificially jacking up the prices. It would be great if we didn't need any clandestine actions to protect our interests but we do. I certainly don't use my real name on internet forums and suggest others probably shouldn't either.

     

    You mean you're not actually Malcolm's brother, Solipsism?  

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