Apple Sues Swatch Over ‘Tick Different’ Marketing Campaign

Apple has filed a complaint in a Swiss court over the use of the slogan "Tick Different" in a Swatch marketing campaign, arguing that the watchmaker is unfairly referencing the Californian company's successful 1990s "Think Different" ad campaign for its own gain.

The complaint was lodged last week at the Swiss Federal Administrative Court by Apple representatives Lenz & Staehelin, whose lawyers filed a simultaneous but ultimately unsuccessful complaint with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

Image: Swatch

Swatch has been using the "Tick Different" slogan on its Bellamy quartz wristwatch with built-in NFC Visa payment technology. According to Watson, in order to successfully win the case Apple must show that Swatch's use of the phrase triggers an association with Apple products in the minds of at least 50 percent of consumers.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek has reportedly rejected the allegation that it is capitalizing on Apple branding. Hayek claimed that the "Tick Different" slogan has its origins in an 80s Swatch campaign that used the phrase "Always different, always new", and says that any similarity with Apple is purely coincidental.

The "Think Different" slogan was created in 1997 by Apple advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, and was thought at the time to be a response to IBM's slogan "Think". It was used in TV commercials, print ads, and several TV promos. Disappearance of the slogan in Apple marketing material coincided with the launch of the iMac G4 in 2002.

Prior to the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple and Swatch were rumored to be joining together to introduce a smartwatch, but nothing ever came of it. Swatch filed an application for an "iSwatch" trademark when rumors first began swirling that Apple planned to enter the market. It later managed to block Apple's own U.K. trademark application for "iWatch".

Tag: Swatch

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Swatch Working on Apple Watch Competitor With Custom-Made OS and Better Battery Life

Swatch is developing its own operating system for an all-new smartwatch intended to compete directly with Apple Watch and Android Wear, according to company CEO Nick Hayek (via Bloomberg). The new smartwatch will be an addition to the Tissot brand, a subsidiary of The Swatch Group, and is set to launch towards the end of 2018.

With its debut so far out, details remain scarce on both the watch itself and the Swatch-made user interface, but Hayek mentioned that the technology will require less battery power and will "protect data better." According to Hayek, the company's strategy will give Swatch the chance to become a worthy competitor to Apple and Samsung wearables because of its focus on a beefy battery which wouldn't require users to charge the watch every day, or every other day, like Apple Watch.

The already-announced Tissot Smart Touch compared to Apple Watch Series 2
Swatch’s approach will work better because it’s trying to “think small” as one of the biggest problem for wearable devices is battery drainage, Hayek said, speaking at the Biel, Switzerland headquarters of Omega, another of 18 brands that Swatch produces.

“There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” the CEO said.
Luca Solca, an analyst who follows the luxury watch industry, pointed out that Swatch's own-made OS could be the company's first mistake. “People use smartwatches expecting to use the same apps they have on their mobiles," Solca explained. "A proprietary operating system defeats the object.” Swatch said it is willing to give its OS to third parties for the creation of apps, and about half of the parties interested originate from small companies in Silicon Valley who "don’t want to be dependent on Android and iOS."

The Tissot brand is set to launch its first smartwatch (seen in the image above), called the Tissot Smart Touch. The watch was announced a year ago and was set to launch in 2016, but it never appeared for users to order. When it does, Smart Touch will be a solar-powered wearable able to connect to iOS and Android smartphones, and include abilities like leading users to lost keys.

The Smart Touch will also include accessories like a standalone weather station that connects to the wearable and offers "hyper local weather information" like temperature, humidity, and air quality. With a debut so far out, it's unclear whether Swatch's new smartwatch will include any of the Smart Touch's features, or even what it might look like.

Although some smart wearable companies, like Fitbit, are facing troubled waters in the market, Apple Watch has become a "magnificent success" for Apple thanks to a boost in holiday sales in 2016. If the Swatch smartwatch debuts in late 2018, it would likely enter the market as a competitor to the Apple Watch Series 4.

Right now, rumors are understandably focused on the 2017 Apple Watch Series 3, with some suggesting the line's first major form factor change, and others theorizing that the wearable will see yet another iterative update this year with feature additions including cellular connectivity and the expected under-the-hood performance enhancements.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
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Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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