Swiss Court Backs Swatch in 'Tick Different' Trademark Row With Apple

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A Swiss court has backed Swatch in a trademark row with Apple over the watchmaker's use of the "Tick Different" slogan, which Apple has argued unfairly references the Californian company's successful 1990s "Think Different" ad campaign for its own gain.

    Image: Swatch

    Reuters reports that in a ruling released on Tuesday, the Federal Administrative Court agreed with Swatch that Apple's "Think Different" was not known well enough in Switzerland to warrant protection, and that Apple had not produced documents that sufficiently backed up its case.

    Swatch has used the "Tick Different" slogan on its Bellamy quartz wristwatch with built-in NFC Visa payment technology. In order to successfully win the case, Apple had to show that Swatch's use of the phrase triggers an association with Apple products in the minds of at least 50 percent of consumers.

    Apple originally filed a complaint in 2017 over Swatch's use of the slogan, but Swatch claimed its use of "Tick Different" has its origins in an 80s Swatch campaign that used the phrase "Always different, always new", and argued that any similarity with Apple is purely coincidental.

    The "Think Different" slogan was created in 1997 by Apple advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, and was thought at the time to be a response to IBM's slogan "Think". It was used in TV commercials, print ads, and several TV promos. Disappearance of the slogan in Apple marketing material coincided with the launch of the iMac G4 in 2002.

    Before the Apple Watch launched, Apple and Swatch were rumored to be joining together on a smartwatch, but nothing came of it. Swatch filed an application for an "iSwatch" trademark when rumors first began swirling that Apple planned to enter the market. It later managed to block Apple's own U.K. trademark application for "iWatch".

    Article Link: Swiss Court Backs Swatch in 'Tick Different' Trademark Row With Apple
  2. apolloa, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019

    apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Good!! This is a sad attempt at control of other companies by Apple, it seriously needs to get over itself with these ridiculous claims, like when it tried to sue that little coffee shop because it’s logo looked ‘vaguely’ like Apple’s!

    They are only seen as the big over reaching bully in these cases and it will affect their reputation with customers if it’s widely reported.
  3. Iconoclysm macrumors 68020


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Apple doesn't sue little coffee shops, you're really projecting here.
  4. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    The irony being that Apple hasn’t “thought different”(ly) for many years now. Next!
  5. jagolden macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2002
    Would anyone expect a different ruling?
    Sorry, but "Tick Different" sends me right to "Think Different".
  6. cicalinarrot macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2015
    I’m with Apple this time. And I expected this kind of parody ads from some local watch shop, not from a huge brand.
  7. Classie macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2018
    This slogan isn’t recognizable today; not to the general public at least.
    That being said, it’s a lazy atempt from Swatch.
  8. makitango macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2012
    Actually they did, and not just on one account.
  9. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
  10. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Just a guess, but they're probably here for the same reason you are... to render their opinion on various topics. Sycophancy is not a prerequisite for posting on MR.:D:p

    On topic: As an American, Swatch's slogan seems way too close to Apple's for it to be a coincidence. It seems obvious 'Think Different' was the inspiration. Not being Swiss, I don't know how much 'Think Different' resonated with the people in Switzerland. According to the court, not as much as Apple thought.
  12. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    The slogan is just too coincidental to Apples years back, even though their intentions may or may not have been malicious, one should know, or at least vaguely recognize that ‘Think different’ was Apples slogan prior.
  13. hamiltonrwatch macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2014
    slightly right of left
    The Swiss would have you believe they invented time; their struggle to stay relevant continues.:D
  14. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    So Apple utilized “Think” to be “Think Different” from IBM and they have the gall to go after “Tick Different”. Hypocrite
  15. timber macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2006
    Probably the mainly US audience in this site would find ridiculous that anyone can't see the similarity between both slogans.

    But remember, Think different is in English and Apple is not that relevant in Europe especially in the 90s.

    Those that are here are Apple fans and know everything.
  16. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Yeah I was surprised IBM did not go after them on the same basis as Apple is pursuing this suit. However there’s just a nuance of difference there between the two situations that I could see the lawyers playing.

    Apple is probably sore they lost the iWatch trademark in the U.K. due to Swatch. I’d wondered why they called it Apple Watch instead of iWatch. I do like Apple Watch better, anyway. iWatch sounds like “eyewash” or like something you are doing.

    I haven’t worn a Swatch in decades. The ones I bought in the 1980’s did not stand the test of time. The plasticizers broke down and my much beloved Swatches were a gross mess after 25 years.
  17. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    On one hand (heheh) it is obviously very similar, and I don’t believe for a second (heheh) that Swatch weren’t fully aware of Apple’s Think Different marketing.

    But on the other hand (heheh), Apple haven’t used it for a long time (heheh) and if it wasn’t as well-known in Switzerland maybe they should get over it. Just how long should a company have legal protection over two words being used together for marketing, let alone one word being used with a similar word... ?!
  18. garylapointe macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    Do they think someone might get confused and buy a Swatch and think it's an Apple Watch?
  19. Nuvi, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2019

    Nuvi macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2008
    That said, Apple hasn’t been “thinking different” since the launch of iPhone. “Think different” was play IBM’s slogan (Think) so I can’t say Swatch is stealing something that is inherently Apple. However, I have hard time understanding what Swatch means with “Tick different”. After all, Swatch is the IBM of wristwatches...
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Swatch has been trolling Apple for a while now. They actually trademarked "One more thing". As @GrumpyMom pointed out, they trademarked iSwatch and blocked Apple from using iWatch. Now this. From a legal standpoint Swatch is the Road Runner and Apple is Wile E. Coyote.
  21. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
  22. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    They should make a watch with an alarm that goes ‘meep meep!’* :D

    *or ‘beep beep’ or ‘hmeep hmeep’ according to preference...
  23. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
  24. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2010
    Pittsburgh PA
    So this judge is suggesting, based upon "Think Different" not being well known enough, that Switzerland is just some backwater cheese making place?
  25. Khedron macrumors 65816

    Sep 27, 2013
    Or he's suggesting that adverts screened decades ago in the US aren't the first thing in Swiss people's minds?

    Next Apple will sue Apple Cart pubs because their name is too similar to their Apple Card service.

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