It is no secret that the tech news world thinks Apple is going to launch the rumored iWatch sometime this year. Everyday, new information surfaces that points to Apple’s involvement in wearable computing. Yesterday, CNN speculated on a possible collaboration between Nike and Apple that spawns from the fact that the former recently reduced its FuelBand team and shelved future updates to the fitness monitor. Today, MacRumors reported on some in-depth research that points to the possibility of Apple using a false company name to secretly secure the iWatch trademark around the world.
According to CNN, Nike recently announced that the company has reduced staff working on the FuelBand and has shelved plans to release a new, thinner version in the fall. With no official reason why, rumors are growing that it is because Nike is working with Apple to develop the fitness aspect of the iWatch. Recently, Apple posted a job listing looking for a fitness physiologist to help design and test products related to cardiovascular fitness and energy expenditures. The description sounds so much like the FuelBand that you would almost think Apple was going to have a patent infringement suit on their hands. But not if Nike was involved in the development of the product.
CNN’s justification of the assumption can be reflected in their bullet point list of things to consider:
- Already, Apple’s iOS system is the only mobile system that can be used with the Fuel Band and its set of apps.
- Cook has sat on Nike’s board of directors for the past nine years. And the two companies have already teamed up to create the Nike+ FuelBand app for iPhones and iPods.
- In September, Apple hired Nike’s Ben Shaffer, the man behind the “Innovation Kitchen” that created Fuel Band.
MacRumors dug deep into the inner workings of trademark registration to uncover what it believes is a link between Apple and a company named Brightflash USA LLC. “While MacRumors has yet to discover a smoking gun linking Apple to Brightflash, there are several pieces of circumstantial evidence pointing in that direction, thereby suggesting that Apple is indeed continuing to quietly lay the groundwork for an iWatch launch.”
Actually, French tech blog Consumac first discovered that Brightflash has been actively seeking the iWatch trademark in various countries around the world. However, MacRumors has been able to link the company to Apple in a number of coincidental ways. For example, the two companies share the same principle attorney, Alejandro Ponce Martinez. Additionally, Brightflash uses the same address as nearly 300,000 companies, who use the building location as a basis for minimizing taxes, as well as a few other corporation-friendly issues. Apple, Inc. is one of the official companies with an address at this building location, too.
Apple has been known to create shell companies to help keep their future products a secret. Last November, Apple created CarPlay Enterprise and filed a trademark on the term CarPlay, which we now know is the official name of iOS in the Car. The company also created Slate Computing to trademark the term iSlate and MagicSlate, as well as a separate company named IP Application Development to secure the term iPad.
There is some speculation that Apple will reveal the rumored iWatch at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2. However, it is also possible that company will wait until the fall, when it traditionally launches new iOS devices, to announce the wearable computer.