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Cartier sues Apple over third party iPhone watch software [U]

Luxury watch maker Cartier International filed suit against Apple today for allowing a third party iPhone developer to post an application depicting a watch image which Cartier claims infringes on its designs. Later, however, it withdrew the complaint.

The watch maker originally insisted that it has never authorized Apple to use images that appear similar to the company's watches, despite the fact that the iPhone title, named Fake Watch, was only a software representation of certain famous watch designs. But in a quick retreat from its stance earlier in the day, Cartier pulled the lawsuit after Apple removed the allegedly offending software from the App Store.

"Our concerns have been addressed," Fox Rothschild LLD attorney Jonathan Lagarenne said on behalf of Cartier.

The free Fake Watch application did enable users to obtain the time using their iPhone or iPod touch, a direct blow to Cartier's fancy watch business. The software developer also offered a premium, paid version of the app under the name "Fake Watch Gold Edition."

Both versions shamelessly offered to present the time using a images of "look-alike famous wristwatches." Apple did not offer a public comment on the suit.

The suit would have had an impact on Apple's mobile software approval process, which has frequently been maligned by developers annoyed by the length of time it takes to get an application approved, frustrated by the occasional rejection of applications based on issues that may seem arbitrary or unfair, or shocked by the nature of certain titles that do manage to make it through the approvals process.