A Swiss court has backed Swatch in a trademark row with Apple over the watchmaker's use of the "Tick Different" slogan, which Apple has argued unfairly references the Californian company's successful 1990s "Think Different" ad campaign for its own gain.
Reuters reports that in a ruling released on Tuesday, the Federal Administrative Court agreed with Swatch that Apple's "Think Different" was not known well enough in Switzerland to warrant protection, and that Apple had not produced documents that sufficiently backed up its case.
Swatch has used the "Tick Different" slogan on its Bellamy quartz wristwatch with built-in NFC Visa payment technology. In order to successfully win the case, Apple had to show that Swatch's use of the phrase triggers an association with Apple products in the minds of at least 50 percent of consumers.
Apple originally filed a complaint in 2017 over Swatch's use of the slogan, but Swatch claimed its use of "Tick Different" has its origins in an 80s Swatch campaign that used the phrase "Always different, always new", and argued 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.
Before the Apple Watch launched, Apple and Swatch were rumored to be joining together on a smartwatch, but nothing 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".