Apple has filed a trademark for “iWatch” in Japan, according to a filing with the Japan Patent Office from early June. The filing, which was reportedly made publicly available last week, is in reference to an Apple “handheld computer” or “watch device.” Earlier this month, reports had claimed that Apple filed for an “iWatch” trademark in Russia, but the claims at the time seemed uncorroborated. Now, with Apple having filed the same trademark in Japan, perhaps the claims from Russia are accurate…

Multiple reports have claimed that Apple is working on a wearable computer for the wrist. Some reports have claimed that said device will launch late this year, while others have pointed to the product arriving towards the end of 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook has noted that Apple will ship new hardware products during fall 2013 and throughout 2014. This watch device will likely include biometric sensors and applications such as mapping tools and ways to view information that comes via an iPhone or iPad. Yahoo Japan provides a look at Apple’s request:

20130701-00026100-roupeiro-000-2-view

We previously rounded up all of the publicly available patents, information, and Apple executive skills that could relate to an Apple watch device. Some patents from Apple have pointed to a slap-on-type design, yet numerous concepts have envisioned a device that could clasp to a wrist like a classic watch.

Details from Apple's filing request

Details from Apple’s filing request

With Apple seemingly amping up the regulation processes for launching a new product, it seems likely that Apple is moving towards a launch for its long-rumored wrist device sometime soon. On the other hand, Apple famously has run into trademark issues such as in the case of ‘iTV‘. Like many companies, Apple could also be trademarking names without intention to release a product soon, but because Apple has filed for protection for an “iWatch” trademark in multiple countries, coupled with several rumors, it seems like there could be some fire to go along this smoke.

Other than a watch, other products in Apple’s pipeline include a new iPad mini, a thinner and lighter full-sized iPad, and an iPhone 5S. (Mockup by Edgar Rios).

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