Apple Watch Appearance Awarded a Design Patent
Orange County – Apple filed a design patent application in August of last year to protect the basic appearance of the Apple Watch which has now been accepted by the USPTO. The patent application was submitted just a month before its unveiling announcement.
The patent attempts 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. For the Apple Watch, Apple 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. Other companies may still attempt to sell similar items, but they would be in danger of patent infringement claims if they create a substantially similar design.
Apple was also recently awarded two other patents for watch strap designs- the “Classic Buckle” and “Link Bracelet,” offering options for those interested in a more distinctive look.
As all three of the Apple Watch models (Standard, Sport, and Edition), follow the same basic design, they are all protected under the same design patent. This will allow the design to be protected 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.
Some of the watches are tagged with a steep asking price. The price of the Edition watch is set as high as $17,000. However, if a gold-plated watch isn’t within budget, Apple also offers a Sport model which is about $350.
Unlike the release of its other products, Apple has not yet announced sales figures of its newest device. However, there have been estimated sales of over 3 million watches, and it was previously back ordered.
Competitors such as Sony and Samsung have already followed through on releasing smart watches of their own. Samsung’s “Gear S” is similar in price to the Apple Watch so competition within the smart watch industry is gearing up.
Apple will also be competing with health related tracking devices such as the FitBit, as the watch is also able to monitor steps taken and distance walked etc.
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(These latest Intellectual Property (IP) news and events presented here, are prepared and compiled by us, the World Patent & Trademark Law Office (WPTO),for your reference and information)