Last Thursday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple refines their Head-Mounted Display Device for a Second Time this Year." Then late on Monday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Reportedly working on Digital Glasses Supporting Telephony and Augmented Reality." Today, Apple filed for two trademarks. One was filed in Europe for the icon representing the Apple Watch app "Breathe." The second trademark filing was made in Hong Kong for the icon representing Apple's open source framework for "CareKit."
What threw me while I was rummaging through Apple's filing for CareKit was what was listed in their international class 9 which covers hardware. Yes it made sense that the filing would cover Apple watch (smart watch) and the iPhone (smart phone), but I wasn't expecting to see smart glasses.
Of course Apple at times lists the craziest things in trademark filings like "whistle alarms; animated cartoons; egg-candlers; dog whistles; decorative magnets and electrified fences." In fact those I just listed appear in the filing below. So what's the big deal in adding "smart glasses? Well, it's the fact that it went overboard listing that device nine times. And just so that there was no misunderstanding, Apple legal went out of their way to list the following in addition: "smart glasses; 3D spectacles; eyeglasses; sunglasses; spectacle lenses; optical glass; optical goods; optical apparatus and instruments." You can't get any clearer than that. Apple legal is making sure there's no misinterpretation of what they mean by smart glasses. No, not the kind you drink out of or covers the iPhone, it's about spectacle lenses, 3D spectacles, eyeglasses and so forth.
I went back to review older trademark filings for Apple Watch icons to see if I simply missed it before. I checked out other Apple Watch oriented trademark filings for icons made in 2016 for Apple Wallet (July); ResearchKit (June) and Activity App (June) and none listed smart glasses in class 9. Then last month Apple filed a trademark for their Activity Tracker Sharing icon and indeed this was the first application that listed smart glasses. In that particular filing, Apple listed it eleven times under class 9.
Apple legal doesn't throw darts at the wall and list new devices in a filing for the fun of it. Apple executives and Apple legal look down the road knowing that they have to begin covering a new category for future protection at some point in time. The silly ones like dog whistles are just canned verbiage that sometimes they use to hopefully hide something new so that it doesn't stand out.
While the listing of smart glasses and all that it relates to doesn't give us a time frame that we can expect to see 'smart glasses,' it does in fact tell us that Apple legal decided to turn on the switch and begin listing it at just the same time that Bloomberg is reporting that Apple's smart glasses project is at the prototype stage isn't coincidental.
It may come to market by 2020 as our report on the matter suggested or they could kill the project if it doesn't deliver what they're hoping it will deliver in that time frame. While in and of itself the revelation isn't a smoking gun, it does provide us with yet another piece of the puzzle. It may very well suggest that 'smart glasses' are now on Apple's radar of future devices because serious work is well underway.
Apple's Hong Kong Figurative Trademark Application In-Part for 'CareKit'
Apple filed their CareKit trademark under international classes 9 and 42. What's interesting in class 9 is that Apple has flooded the application with an applicable device that this trademark may be associated with someday: Smart Glasses.
International Class 9
"Computers; computer hardware; wearable computer hardware; handheld computers; tablet computers; telecommunications apparatus and instruments; telephones; mobile telephones; smart phones; wireless communication devices for the transmission of voice, data, images, audio, video, and multimedia content; network communication apparatus; handheld digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the internet and for the sending, receiving, and storing telephone calls, electronic mail, and other digital data; wearable digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the internet, for sending, receiving and storing of telephone calls, electronic mail, and other digital data; smart watches; wearable activity trackers; connected bracelets [measuring instruments]; electronic book readers; computer software; computer software for setting up, configuring, operating or controlling mobile devices, mobile telephones, wearable devices, computers, computer peripherals, set top boxes, televisions, and audio and video players; application development software; computer game software; downloadable pre-recorded audio, video and multimedia content; computer peripheral devices; peripheral devices for computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, earphones, headphones, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; wearable computer peripherals; wearable peripherals for use with computers, mobile telephones; mobile electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, televisions, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; accelerometers; altimeters; distance measuring apparatus; distance recording apparatus; pedometer; pressure measuring apparatus; pressure indicators; monitors, display screens, head mounted displays, and headsets for use with computers, smart phones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, televisions, and audio and video players and recorders; smart glasses; 3D spectacles; eyeglasses; sunglasses; spectacle lenses; optical glass; optical goods; optical apparatus and instruments; cameras; flashes for cameras; display screens for computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, televisions, and audio and video players and recorders; keyboards, mice, mouse pads, printers, disk drives, and hard drives; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital audio and video players and recorders; audio speakers; audio amplifiers and receivers; motor vehicle audio apparatus; voice recording and voice recognition apparatus; earphones; headphones; microphones; televisions; television receivers and monitors; set top boxes; radios; radio transmitters and receivers; global positioning systems (GPS devices); navigational instruments; remote controls for controlling computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, speakers, amplifiers, home theatre systems, and entertainment systems; wearable devices for controlling computers, mobile telephones, mobile electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, audio and video players and recorders, televisions, speakers, amplifiers, home theatre systems, and entertainment systems; data storage apparatus; computer chips; batteries; battery chargers; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, and adapters for use with all of the aforesaid goods; interfaces for computers, computer peripherals, mobile telephones, mobile digital electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, televisions, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; protective films adapted for computer screens; covers, bags, cases, sleeves, straps and lanyards for computers, mobile telephones, mobile digital electronic devices, wearable electronic devices, smart watches, smart glasses, earphones, headphones, set top boxes, and audio and video players and recorders; selfie sticks; chargers for electronic cigarettes; electronic collars to train animals; electronic agendas; apparatus to check stamping mail; cash registers; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; dictating machines; hemline markers; voting machines; electronic tags for goods; prize selection machines; facsimile machines; weighing apparatus and instruments; measures; electronic notice boards; measuring apparatus; wafers [silicon slices]; integrated circuits; amplifiers; fluorescent screens; remote controls; lights conducting filaments [optical fibers]; electric installations for the remote control of industrial operations; lightning arresters; electrolyzers; fire extinguishers; radiological apparatus for industrial purposes; life saving apparatus and equipment; whistle alarms; animated cartoons; egg-candlers; dog whistles; decorative magnets; electrified fences; portable remote-controlled car retarders; electrically heated socks.
International Class 42
Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; computer programming; design and development of computer hardware and software; design, development and maintenance of proprietary computer software in the field of natural language, speech, speaker, language, voice recognition, and voice-print recognition; rental of computer hardware and software apparatus and equipment; computer hardware and software consulting services; support and consultation services for developing computer systems, databases and applications; providing computer hardware or software information online; website creation, design and maintenance services; website hosting services; application service provider (ASP) services featuring hosting computer software applications of others; application service provider (ASP) services featuring software for creating, authoring, distributing, downloading, transmitting, receiving, playing, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, displaying, storing and organizing text, graphics, images, audio, video, and multimedia content, and electronic publications; application service provider (ASP) services featuring software for use in connection with voice recognition software and voice-enabled software applications; providing online non-downloadable software; providing search engines for obtaining data via the internet and other electronic communications networks; creating indexes of online information, sites and other resources available on global computer networks for others; electronic data storage services; online social networking services; providing a social networking website; cartography and mapping services; information, advisory and consultancy services relating to all the aforesaid.
Apple's European Figurative Trademark Filing In-Part for 'Breathe' App Icon
In this application, Apple filed their trademark only under International Class 009 and Apple legal made the entry short and sweet compared to their other filing in Hong Kong under the same class. For this icon, class 9 covers the following: "Computer software; smartwatches; smartphones; wearable computer peripherals."
In an interesting way, the last entry for class 009 in this application being "wearable computer accessories," may be the way that Apple decides to hide "smart glasses" in the future? Then again, only time will tell.
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