Irish software development studio Probendi is suing Apple in Europe over the use of the term ‘iWatch’ in its search engine ads.
Court documents filed by Probendi in Milan claim that even though Apple doesn’t own the trademark for iWatch, it has used iWatch wording on Google in an effort to direct customers to the Apple Watch website.
The small Dublin-based firm says that they warned Apple last year against using the term ‘iWatch.’ Using the iWatch trademark could cost Apple $97 million, according to an audit commissioned by Probendi which told Bloomberg, “Apple never replied to our requests and objections, while Google said they are not responsible for links.”
Apple faced a similar trademark dispute in China with the launch of the iPad. The company eventually paid a $60 million settlement to use the naming rights. Probendi is hoping to walk away with more than that once the first hearing gets underway on Nov. 11, but it’s unclear if the company would let Apple still use the term.
Probendi claims it has its own smartwatch in developement that will undercut the Apple Watch in price, run Android Wear, and carry the name iWatch. According to Probendi co-founder Daniele Di Salvo though, the product has been put in standby.