Anyone thinking that their Apple Watch might provide a virtual copy of a well-known watch face is likely to be disappointed, reports TorrentFreak: big-name watchmakers are issuing cease-and-desist notices to those creating smartwatch versions of their designs.
Big brands including Omega, Tissot, Certina and Mondaine have taken exception to ‘pirate’ faces being made available for cutting edge smartwatches.
TorrentFreak has learned that IWC, Panerai, Omega, Fossil, Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot, Certina, Swatch, Flik Flak and Mondaine are sending cease and desist notices to sites and individuals thought to be offering faces without permission.
Watch companies are variously citing copyright, design rights and registered trademarks, with download site owners being given as little as 24 hours to remove the content. One watchface download site, FaceRepo, says that it is now using keyword filtering to exclude infringing content before it can even be uploaded.
“If these [brand names] are found in the face name, description or tags, this will cause the upload to be rejected with a message stating that sharing of copyrighted or trademarked material is prohibited,” FaceRepo’s owner notes.
Back in 2012, Apple was forced to pay $21M in compensation to Swiss national rail operator SBB for using its famous clock design in iOS without permission.
The launch date for the Apple Watch isn’t yet known, Apple saying only ‘early 2015‘ while a leaked comment by retail head Angela Ahrendts said that the launch would be in “the spring.” Once it is available, Morgan Stanley predicted that up to 10% of owners of the iPhone 5 and up are likely to buy one.