Apple's 'Think Different' court clash ends in Swatch's favor

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2
Apple has been handed a defeat in Switzerland's court system, and Swatch will not be penalized for similarities between a "Tick different" smartwatch ad, and Apple's classic "Think Different" slogan.



Swatch and its "Tick Different" marketing from 2017's court filing


In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the Federal Administrative court ruled that Apple's "Think Different" campaign was not well known enough in the country versus Swatch's "Tick Different" to deserve protection. As part of its ruling, as seen by Reuters, the court noted that Apple didn't provide enough documentation that the campaign from the tail-end of the 20th century needed to be protected from Swatch's advertising campaign.

The battle has been a long one. The suit was filed in April of 2017, and Apple was under the gun to prove that at least 50 percent of customers associated "Think Different" with Apple.

Apple advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day generated the campaign for Apple in 1997 when the tech giant was struggling. Initially called "crap" by late co-founder Steve Jobs, the now iconic series matched the slogan with black-and-white photos of famous visionaries.

A small selection of Apple's Think Different posters from 1999 and 2000
A small selection of Apple's "Think Different" posters


Kicking off the ad blitz was the award-winning "To the crazy ones" TV spot, which featured a voice-over by Richard Dreyfuss. Ad industry insiders consider "Think Different" one of the most influential advertising campaigns in recent history.

Swatch used "Tick different" to promote Bellamy, a quartz wristwatch with built-in Visa NFC payment functionality that beat the Apple Watch to the Chinese market by four months. The company tried to use Bellamy to penetrate into the Chinese mobile payments market in 2015, but ultimately failed to do so.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said at the start of the trial that any similarity between the two campaigns is coincidental. Hayek asserts "Tick different" originated Swatch campaign from two decades prior that utilized a "Always different, always new" message.

"Tick different" followed a series of copycat moves that Swatch tried, surrounding Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch in in 2014. In 2015, Swatch won a trademark on the phrase "one more thing," words Jobs would often use to preface surprise announcements at keynote events.

Swatch later said the catchphrase was inspired by the TV show "Columbo" and would be used to market a collection of film noir watches.

The watchmaker also attempted to block Apple's UK trademark application for "iWatch," saying it was too similar to Swatch's "iSwatch" mark. Apple argued that Swatch filed "iSwatch" as a pre-emptive strike against Apple's inevitable smartwatch rollout. The UK Intellectual Property Office ultimately sided with Swatch in 2016, long after Apple decided to market its wearable under the Apple Watch moniker.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    I can't imagine why the Swiss courts would want to protect Swatch eh? /s  Can Apple take this to a higher and neutral court?

    I didn't know about the 'one more thing' story, that's rich!
    edited April 2 jbdragonStrangeDaysronnmagman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 664member
    When you are the best, you put a target on your back and the vultures flock to you.  That's what we see here.  Swatch has become a parasite, latching on to the success of others.  

    I haven't paid any attention to this game Swatch is playing, but they appear to be pretty good at these childish antics.  Still grasping for that 15 minutes of fame I guess.  
    lkruppronnmagman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 814member
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    Hey, as long as they keeping making Toblerone, I can live with this ;)
    hammeroftruthwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    Well they recently lost cases against Samsung and Qualcomm so...  and they lost against VirnetX.  Going back even further, they lost the e-Book case, they lost...  
    So to answer your question, they've lost a few.  Can't really use that "US courts are biased too" angle it seems you were preparing to trot out.
    jbdragonstompychemenginAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,625member
    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    What is the point of that question? Why do you have a need to proactively rain down moral judgement on Apple every week? What is the point of coming to an Apple site to poo poo Apple?
    ronnmagman1979airnerdAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,625member
    This is a joke, of course. They trademark "One more thing", then pretend "Tick Different" isn't related to Apple either?
    ronnmagman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    darelrexdarelrex Posts: 57member
    Huge Apple fan, but I gotta mention: "Think different" was a parody of IBM's many-decade "Think" slogan.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,055moderator
    MacPro said:
    I can't imagine why the Swiss courts would want to protect Swatch eh? /s  Can Apple take this to a higher and neutral court?

    I didn't know about the 'one more thing' story, that's rich!
    Of course Apple has taken this, and everything else, to the highest court on earth.  The court of public purchase power.  And they have won every single battle in that court.  
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 328member
    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    What is the point of that question? Why do you have a need to proactively rain down moral judgement on Apple every week? What is the point of coming to an Apple site to poo poo Apple?
    He wants to be famous by riding on Apple sites as a super TROL
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    darelrex said:
    Huge Apple fan, but I gotta mention: "Think different" was a parody of IBM's many-decade "Think" slogan.
    Good point and I honestly don't know why Apple even bothered with this, other than perhaps win or loose they'd score some publicity points. I mean, cleverly parodying or playing off previous well known ads is par for the course, is it not? Maybe 'Think Different' is too old but I can't help to wonder if in fact "Tick Different' benefits Apple as much as Swatch. Anyway, I think it is clever and as much as benefitting Apple the court case is sure to have added value to the campaign :smiley: 
    hammeroftruthxyzzy01
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Doesn't really matter. It may buy them some time, but Swatch is ultimately doomed. Their stock is trading at almost half of what it did a year ago and still trending downward. Unless they come out with some incredible breakthrough product, I don't see that changing.
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    MacPro said:
    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    Hey, as long as they keeping making Toblerone, I can live with this ;)
    I don’t like Toblerone, too isosceles. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Last time I saw swatch was popular is when Guess jeans were. That was in 86. 

    There new slogan is “Think we’re irrelevant.”
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 664member
    paxman said:
    darelrex said:
    Huge Apple fan, but I gotta mention: "Think different" was a parody of IBM's many-decade "Think" slogan.
    Good point and I honestly don't know why Apple even bothered with this, other than perhaps win or loose they'd score some publicity points. I mean, cleverly parodying or playing off previous well known ads is par for the course, is it not? Maybe 'Think Different' is too old but I can't help to wonder if in fact "Tick Different' benefits Apple as much as Swatch. Anyway, I think it is clever and as much as benefitting Apple the court case is sure to have added value to the campaign :smiley: 
    Had Apple not had this case, and AI hadn't reported on it I wouldn't know Swatch was still in business.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    darelrex said:
    Huge Apple fan, but I gotta mention: "Think different" was a parody of IBM's many-decade "Think" slogan.
    It wasn't just a slogan, it was also IBM's official magazine name. As a kid I remember seeing stacks and stacks of these magazines, and I remember highly thought provoking artwork on each cover.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    MacPro said:
    I can't imagine why the Swiss courts would want to protect Swatch eh? /s  Can Apple take this to a higher and neutral court?

    I didn't know about the 'one more thing' story, that's rich!

    Everyone is copying Apples trademarks now it's sad. Watching any tech keynote is filled with cringeworthy Steve Jobs wannabes using Apple phrases.

    What Apple CAN do is put these dinosaurs to sleep. Which I think would be smarter. This should encourage Apple to develop better products at competitive pricing. Let these iWannabes BLEED!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member

    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    Well they recently lost cases against Samsung and Qualcomm so...  and they lost against VirnetX.  Going back even further, they lost the e-Book case, they lost...  
    So to answer your question, they've lost a few.  Can't really use that "US courts are biased too" angle it seems you were preparing to trot out.

    U.S. courts hate Apple too. Has nothing to do with country of origin. These are the same scumbags in bed with Googly. 
    edited April 3 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19

    spice-boy said:
    Ok, before any of you start raging against the Swiss people, Swiss courts or Swatch, how many cases has Apple lost in US courts?
    Well they recently lost cases against Samsung and Qualcomm so...  and they lost against VirnetX.  Going back even further, they lost the e-Book case, they lost...  
    So to answer your question, they've lost a few.  Can't really use that "US courts are biased too" angle it seems you were preparing to trot out.

    U.S. courts hate Apple too. Has nothing to do with country of origin. These are the same scumbags in bed with Googly. 
    That doesn't make any sense.  If the US courts hated Apple, they would have allowed product injunctions, ruled against Apple in the cases they won.  Apple wins and loses cases just like any other company.  Their successes and failures are predicated on the effectiveness of their legal teams' arguments, not some perceived bias.
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