According to latest reports, Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has submitted a complaint in a Swiss court against the watch-maker Swatch over the use of the phrase “Tick Different” in a marketing campaign.
Reports said, Swatch is using the slogan to advertise a wristwatch containing a contactless payment chip.
iPhone-maker, Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) argued the slogan wrongly references its “Think Different campaign”, which ran in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek reportedly said the resemblance was just coincidental. He further clarified that the slogan was basically taken from one of Swatch’s own campaigns from the 1980s: “Always different, always new.”
In late 1990’s and in early 2000’s, Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) used Think Different in its adverts, in what was thought to be a reaction to IBM’s Think ad campaign. A 1998 television advert, featuring black-and-white images of historical figures such as Einstein and Gandhi, won an Emmy.
In the filing to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, Apple’s lawyers Lenz & Staehelin said the tagline was long considered “the core of the Apple brand”.
However legal experts think, to achieve any kind of success in the case, Apple must prove that Swatch’s use of the phrase Tick Different incite an association with Apple products in the minds of at least 50% of consumers, as a quite identical complaint lodged at the same time with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property was discarded.
In 2015, Swatch was approved trademark status for the phrase Tick Different to use in the US. It also has the trademark for the slogan in Switzerland.
This is not the first time the two companies have clashed.
In the last quarter of 2016, the UK Intellectual Property Office supported Swatch’s opposition to Apple (AAPL) efforts to trademark “iWatch” in the UK. It made the verdict that the term was too close to “iSwatch” and “Swatch”.