Apple cannot launch the Apple Watch in Switzerland — home of some of the most renowned watch companies out there and the spiritual home of watches — event if it wanted to because of a trademark claim.
A company called Leonard Timepieces filed a trademark claim in 1985, which essentially bars Apple and any other company from using the word “apple” or the image of an apple for selling “precious metals and their alloys and goods in these materials or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewelery, precious stones; clocks and timepieces.”
The trademark was filed for 30 years and expires on December 5, 2015. Apple can easily wait and launch the Apple Watch in Switzerland after that, but the Cupertino company is apparently in talks with the owner of Leonard Timepieces, William Leong, to negotiate a deal and purchase the trademark.
It is also entirely possible that Leong renews the trademark instead of selling it to Apple to the benefit of Swiss watchmakers.
The Apple Watch is all set to go on pre-orders on April 10 in nine countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany and Hong Kong.