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Lawsuit targets Apple for directing 'iWatch' Google searches to Apple Watch page

A new lawsuit accuses Apple of improperly using Google ads to guide "iWatch" searches to its page for the Apple Watch, abusing a trademark it doesn't own, a report said on Tuesday.




An June 26 an Irish software and network services company, Probendi, filed a motion in an Italian court complaining about the ads, Bloomberg remarked. The firm owns rights to the iWatch trademark in the European Union, and a lawyer acting on their behalf noted that Apple never replied to requests or objections, while Google denied responsibility for such links.

Last year, Probendi co-founder Daniele Di Salvo claimed that the company was working on an Android smartwatch that would use the iWatch name and beat the Apple Watch's price. On Tuesday Di Salvo reportedly said that the project was in "standby," and his company's iWatch webpage currently only mentions the dispute with Apple.

A estimate commissioned by Probendi indicated that that the iWatch trademark is worth €87 million ($97 million), according to two Bloomberg sources. An initial hearing for Probendi's case has been set for November 11.

The firm's chance of success are uncertain, since a number of corporations have attempted to sue Google or its advertisers over trademarks with mixed success. Officially, Google examines such issues individually, and may or may not impose restrictions.