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.

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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

Top Rated Comments

Avieshek Avatar
59 months ago
I bet, Apple has more lawyers than engineers.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anthorumor Avatar
59 months ago
Ironically, Apple aren't thinking differently these days.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
needfx Avatar
59 months ago
Previously on Corporations.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hermes Monster Avatar
59 months ago
I immediately thought of Apple's slogan when I read it, but maybe that's because I'm reading it on an Apple news site
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8692574 Avatar
59 months ago
Apple should sue :

Copperfield for using the word "Magic™"
Shell for using the word "Pipelines™"
Lines for using the word "Pad™"
Marvell for using the word "Amazing™"
MTV for using the word "TV™"
Sony for using the word "Play™"
Meucci for using the word "Phone™"
The Romans for using the letter "i™"
All airlines using the word "Air™"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ck2875 Avatar
59 months ago
What kind of petty minded fools thinks they own the English language?
Likely the ones who have owned the registered Trademark on "Think Different" since 1997. In Trademark law, if you don't defend your mark against diluting by other companies you risk losing it. "Tick" and "Think" may mean different things but differ by two letters. I can entirely see why they had to protect their mark here.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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