Swiss watchmaker hits back at Apple by trademarking ‘One more thing’

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“One more thing” returned at this year's iPhone keynote. Photo: Apple.
One more thing...
Photo: Apple

Sometimes trademarks are about defending brand names you’ve spent years and millions of dollars building up. Other times they’re meant as jealous, petty ways of striking back at people who are doing better than you.

Guess which category Swatch’s decision to trademark Steve Jobs’ iconic “One more thing” signature phrase falls under.

The trademark was registered in Germany in May, but has just been granted. Although it was originally a quotation by Jobs of Peter Falk’s Columbo character, it is synonymous with Apple’s late CEO, and has been used by Tim Cook, too. “One more thing” is often employed at the end of Apple keynotes to introduce a new surprise product or make an exciting announcement.

Swatch’s co-creator Elmar Mock has previously spoken out about how the Apple Watch will “put a lot of pressure on the traditional watch industry and jobs in Switzerland.” Swatch, meanwhile, has scrambled to bring its own smartwatch to market, although all the evidence we’ve seen suggests Apple Watch is still having a big impact on the traditional watch industry.

This isn’t the first time Apple has had people try to pilfer its well-known “One more thing” phrase. At the launch of Apple ripoff artist Xiaomi’ Mi 4 smartphone, CEO Lei Jun “borrowed” Apple’s tagline while also wearing a black top and blue jeans.

There’s no word yet on how Swatch plans to use its new trademark, but Apple can at least take comfort in the fact that it’s clearly making its presence felt with the Apple Watch.

To quote Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Source: Patently Apple

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  • Rafterman00

    I’m pretty sure other people have said “one more thing” long before Jobs did. And I’m also pretty sure Columbo was a pretty famous character to make it popular long before Jobs too.

    • igorsky

      I’m pretty sure nobody has ever said “one more thing” at a major product launch before Jobs. Context is very important.

      This is also important news for Xiaomi and Samsung…what will they copy now for their product launches?

      • Duncan Hill

        That’s where I am surprised that the authorities allowed this trademark. Tim Cook used the “one more thing” tagline directly before introducing the apple watch.

      • I don’t think you can actually “sue” are person just for announcing a tagline publicly. It’s not like Apple ever printed the tagline on any of its products or as a catchphrase.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    Wow, I think that rather than spend money trademarking a competitors rarely used tag line, Swatch’s stockholders would prefer the company to be spending in R&D.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    “One more thing” is just a slogan. I bet Apple’s marketing people can come up with thousands and thousands of slogans just as effective.

    • jonathanober

      Two More Things coming this year…iPad Pro and a iCar or something else. Now Apple just needs to make/unveil two cool things to up their game.

  • Jim

    I find it hard to believe one can trademark a phrase like this. Maybe I’ll just go ahead and trademark “Fuck you”.

    • bIg hIlL

      I’d like to see you try.

    • Mark Langston

      Just be sure to include an addendum like “FU”, “Fook Yu” and “Phuck Yew” so you protect your investment from all sides.

      Actually, Austin Powers already used “Fook Yu” (and “Fook Mi”) so that’ll be labeled as prior art.

    • MaskedRacerX

      I already did, please submit licensing fee to payments@fuckyou.com

      :D

      • Jim

        LOL

  • Roxy Balboa

    Swatch is synonymous with SHIT

    • bIg hIlL

      So are many of Apple’s products.

      • Tallest Skil

        You’re going to want to troll harder, kiddo.

      • bIg hIlL

        Nothing to do with trolling, “kiddo”, just typing my valid opinion.

      • Jim

        Based on what? I bet you own zero Apple products. That’s why it’s called trolling. If any Apple product was “shit”, they wouldn’t be all at the top of their respective reviews (which they are, MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, all rank at or near the top on all reviews). So, you can have an opinion, and say “I don’t like how Apple stuff looks or works”, but you can’t say it’s “shit” without being an a-hole troll.

      • bIg hIlL

        Yes you can, and I just did. I have a mid-2011 27″ iMac. It’s great. Principally I came to Apple as their OS is the best. I hate MS software. The first coloured CRT iMacs were crap, OK better than they were at the time but not so good. It is only since about 2010 and they fine tuned the design that they came of age, and the OS since 10.5 Leopard. As for the tiny hand device, IMO are sh1t. Silly golden coloured electroplating passed off as fantastic – LMAO – Made In Hong Kong goods have had coloured electroplating since the year dot. Tablets, IMO are sh1t too, much prefer my vastly underpowered Asus Netboot; at least it will stand up on its own, has a proper keyboard, is not vastly expensive for a piece of hollow electro-tat (running Mac OS BTW). iPads are vastly over-rated. OK run out of time I won’t even talk about the 1-day-battery wrist gimmick LOL. Big Brother’s watchin’ – and he’s SH1T too.

      • Tallest Skil

        We’re adults here (you’re supposed to be, at least); you can say ‘shit’. Unless, of course, your mommy is looking over your shoulder.

        Also, not a word of substance or truth is contained in this post.

      • Tallest Skil

        Your opinion 1. isn’t an opinion, because you’re being paid to say it and 2. is an abject lie.

      • bIg hIlL

        Hahahaha. Next time you’re passing a hospital, see if you can get a brain implanted!!!

      • Tallest Skil

        5/10; would not get trolled by again.

  • Mark Langston

    Here’s some free advice Apple, display “One More…” on the screen and have the audience say “Thing”. Problem solved.

  • A) You can’t trademark a common phrase.
    B) “Prior art”
    C) Good luck enforcing it in an American courtroom, Swatch
    D) Kill all the lawyers!

    • MaskedRacerX

      Upvoted for all points – but particularly item D

    • Jim

      Yeah, didn’t TRUMP already try to trademark “You’re Fired”? It’s crazy talk. This whole story is bogus.

  • RaptorOO7

    Well if you don’t trademark it you don’t have a claim. If they wanted to keep using it they should have spent some time trademarking it.

  • Anthony

    I’m sure people said “there’s one more thing” before Jobs, but the way Jobs deployed it was key. It was usually used to launch a product that was bigger than what was actually announced during the Keynote itself. A couple of times he used “One More Thing…”

    Launching the iMac
    Launching the Apple Cinema Display
    Announcing that he was dropping the “interim” title from “Interim CEO”
    Introducing the 17″ Landscape iMac
    Lauching the Mac Pro G4
    Introducing the Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard
    Introducing the U2 special edition iPod
    Introducing the Intel MacBook Pro
    Launching Apple TV

    so, in context, its easy to see why “one more thing” became as intimately connected with Steve as “insanely great”.