Apple can't stop Swatch from trying to trademark 'One more thing,' judge rules

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Apple can't stop watchmaker Swatch from attempting to trademark Steve Jobs' "One more thing" phrase, a judge in the UK has ruled.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Judge Ian Purvis on Monday said that Swatch's attempt to register the phrase may have been an effort to "annoy" Apple, but ultimately decided that the Cupertino tech giant can't stop Swatch from doing so.

Additionally, Judge Purvis added that a previous court decision that "Swatch's intentions had stepped over the line between the appropriate and inappropriate use of a trade mark" was wrong.

The phrase, famously used by Jobs near the end of keynote events to cue a surprise announcement, probably originated with fictional TV detective Columbo, Judge Purvis said in his ruling.

The dustup over the three words is part of a broader dispute between Apple and Swatch that originated with the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015. At the time, Apple tried to trademark the term "iWatch" in the U.K. but was denied because it was too close to Swatch's existing "iSwatch."

Since then, the battle has extended to other phrases and trademarks. In 2019, for example, Apple lost a bid to stop Swatch from registering the phrase "Tick Different" -- a nod to Apple's "Think Different" Mac slogan.

Jobs' successor, Apple CEO Tim Cook, revived the "One more thing" phrase in 2015 when he announced the Apple Watch.

When Swatch attempted to trademark the phrase, Apple's lawyers argued that the move was "bad faith" and sought to parody Apple. On Monday, Judge Purvis said that Apple ultimately failed to come up with examples of concerning parodies.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,462member
    Ok, but step back. Is “One more thing” worthy of trademark? I don’t think such a common phrase should even be trademarkable. It’s like Happy Birthday, or Good Morning, a common phrase that’s been used for ages. Remember Columbo used it before Apple did.
    OfergregoriusmmwhitebyronlFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,844member
    There is no link to the original story that I can see. Did the judge support the trademark or what? 
  • Reply 3 of 28
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,117member
    This whole affair just looks incredibly juvenile and tone deaf from Swatch. People have moved past plastic disposable fashion. The Apple Watch is not the kind of problem that Swiss watchmakers can just market their way out of - it exists because an entire industry sat on their hands while simultaneously letting quality slide in favour of profit. The very few remaining quality swiss brands will persist, the junky ones won’t hold any prominence. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 28
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,904member
    DAalseth said:
    Ok, but step back. Is “One more thing” worthy of trademark? I don’t think such a common phrase should even be trademarkable. It’s like Happy Birthday, or Good Morning, a common phrase that’s been used for ages. Remember Columbo used it before Apple did.
    Exactly. I don’t think Apple should be able to prevent others from using the phrase, but I feel much stronger that Swatch has no business “owning” it.  

    The inconsistency between iWatch/iSwatch (bad) and Think Different/Tick Different (good) is another story, but also annoying... especially because Apple would have been following their naming conventions while Swatch was clearly copying off Apple.
    Ofermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 28
    every ship has a bunch of barnacles trying to take a free ride, but they can never be a ship 
    StrangeDaysmknelsonmontrosemacsBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 640member
    Swatch is so 80’s. I am surprise they are still around. I have not seen anyone wear one for very long time. All I see is apple watch or G-shock style watch. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 453member
    I think that phrase has run its course. If Swatch wants to trademark the past, rather than the future...
    have at it! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 28
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,474member
    geekmee said:
    I think that phrase has run its course. If Swatch wants to trademark the past, rather than the future...
    have at it! 
    Not the point. Tim Cook continues to use it so if I read this stupid judicial review properly, Swatch could sue Apple for trade ark infringement. Even though Columbo said it, theUK judge would say Columbo never trademarked it so Swatch could. Totally stupid legal shenanigans. 
    Beatsmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,921member
    So why didn't Apple trademark the phrase decades ago? If Swatch gets the trademark will Apple have to stop using the phrase?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    FC49erFC49er Posts: 3member
    Swatch is still a company? I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when no one remembers you're still in business. I have no use fro their product and doing this to Steve Jobs I never will. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    FC49erFC49er Posts: 3member
    lkrupp said:
    So why didn't Apple trademark the phrase decades ago? If Swatch gets the trademark will Apple have to stop using the phrase?
    I doubt they will win that in the U.S.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28
    viclauyyc said:
    Swatch is so 80’s. I am surprise they are still around. I have not seen anyone wear one for very long time. All I see is apple watch or G-shock style watch. 
    FC49er said:
    Swatch is still a company? I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when no one remembers you're still in business. I have no use fro their product and doing this to Steve Jobs I never will. 
    The Swatch Group is the largest watch company in the world.  Their brands include ETA, Blancpain, Breguet, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, Omega, Longines, Tissot, Hamilton, Rado and yes, Swatch.  This is pretty common knowledge.  Based on the comments above, I guess common is always as common as we'd like to believe.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 28
    n2macsn2macs Posts: 81member
    This is a cheap shot! Apple should buy Swatch and dissolve the company.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    Is Epic's CEO also running Swatch?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,486member
    Trademark or not, usually that phrase is said during a keynote here in the United States, at Apple HQ.  So I wonder if Swatch would even try going after Apple in court and get the bad PR to go along with it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 680member
    The judge said Swatch could try to trademark the phrase. That doesn't mean they have succeeded in doing so.

    And trademarking it to use on a product doesn't mean other companies can't use it in a casual sentence at an event or in advertising.
    FileMakerFellerbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 28
    When was the last time Apple had "one more thing" of any importance?
  • Reply 18 of 28
    sflocal said:
    Trademark or not, usually that phrase is said during a keynote here in the United States, at Apple HQ.  So I wonder if Swatch would even try going after Apple in court and get the bad PR to go along with it.
    I doubt anything would come of it.  I think this is just Swatch being cheeky.  Besides, Apple hasn't used that phrase in over half a decade.  Honestly, I think they shouldn't use it anymore.  Let that be Steve's thing; part of his legacy.  Tim can, if the need arises, have his own catch phrase.  Imagine this:

    Cook ends his keynote, thanks everyone, and turns to walk off stage.  He suddenly stops, snaps his fingers, looks back over his shoulder and says, "Did I mention..."
    [Shiny new (already leaked by Prosser) iDevice appears on screen]
    /crowd roars

    6 months later... fans of Jobs and Cooks continue their Twitter beef over which catch phrase is better.
    FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 19 of 28
    jccjcc Posts: 285member
    Apple can buy Swatch 1000 times over. They could pump and dump Swatch stock just for the fun of it. Swatch is poking a hornets nest because they’re dumb.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,955member
    If Apple Watch didn’t exist Swatch would never have cared for the phrase. This is no different from Samsung making rose gold knockoff iPhones and other iKnockoff BS.

    DAalseth said:
    Ok, but step back. Is “One more thing” worthy of trademark? I don’t think such a common phrase should even be trademarkable. It’s like Happy Birthday, or Good Morning, a common phrase that’s been used for ages. Remember Columbo used it before Apple did.

    It’s worthy because Swatch is using it to copy Apple not because they thought of it randomly some day.  It’s no different from “Tick Different” BS. 

    When was the last time Apple had "one more thing" of any importance?

    Don’t move the goalposts. 
    watto_cobra
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