Apple’s getting sued over the iWatch name it didn’t use

Ask anyone on the street what Apple’s new wearable is called and they’ll probably respond with ‘the iWatch’.

That’s because – against all odds – Apple snubbed the ‘i’ prefix that it’s peddled across the majority of its products and services for far more prosaic branding. Enter, the Apple Watch.

Now the company that holds the ‘iWatch’ trademark in Europe is suing Apple because it claims the tech giant is profiting from the ‘iWatch’ name.

According to Probendi, a small Irish software development studio, Apple has “systematically” gamed Google to make bank on people searching for the iWatch.

Apple pays Google so that when potential customers search ‘iWatch’, they’ll receive advertisements for the Apple Watch. That’s so Apple doesn’t miss out on sales from people entering the wrong product name.

The lawsuit, which was filed late last month, protests Apple’s use of the term ‘iWatch’ in its advertisements.

“Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch,” explains the tribunal filing, which was obtained by Bloomberg.

Related: Best Smartwatch 2015

Probendi had reportedly warned Apple against using the ‘iWatch’ term last year, and revealed it was working on its own smartwatch.

The device was allegedly intended to run on Google’s Android Wear OS, undercut the Apple Watch in price, and carry the ‘iWatch’ name. However, the project is now “in standby”.

The company recently commissioned an audit that valued the ‘iWatch’ trademark at 87 million Euros, which equates to £61 million. It’s not yet clear how much money Probendi wants to claim from Apple.

The case is due to be heard in court of Novembe 11, 2015.

In the meantime, you should check out our Apple Watch race across London video to see how the smartwatch fares in the real world: