Apple has updated its corporate trademark to cover Class 14 — a category given to jewelry, clocks and watches — further fueling rumours that an iWatch may be in its pipeline.
First spotted by MacRumors, the update applies to the company’s name relating to its trademarks in several countries, including Ecuador, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Norway.
This means that Apple wants to have its brand protected in the jewelry business.
According to the the international trademark classifications listed on the United States Trademark and Patent Office’s website, a Class 14 categorization includes “precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewelry, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.”
The definition further specifies that it applies to jewelry, cuff links and tie pins.
Apple has not yet extended its trademark to cover Class 14 in the United States.
Last year Apple filed a trademark for the term “iWatch” in multiple countries, including Russia, Mexico and Japan. The company has also filed numerous patents related to wrist-worn technology, including its recently published application titled “Wrist Pedometer Step Detection.”
It’s unclear exactly why Apple extended its trademark classification in several countries, but it serves as another indicator that the company may release a wearable gadget in the near future. Back in January The New York Times reported that Apple had met with the United States Food and Drug Administration to discuss mobile medical applications.
Rumours also suggest that Apple’s next major operating system, presumably called iOS 8, would come with features well-suited for wearable devices. The rumoured Healthbook app, for instance, is said to be able to measure one’s burned calories, steps, blood sugar and hydration, among other things.
The M7 co-processor in Apple’s iPhone 5s is capable of functioning as a pedometer, but the other rumoured Healthbook features seem as if they would only work with a device that’s physically worn on one’s body.
Apple hasn’t dropped any hints as to whether it plans to delve into wearable tech, but KGI Securities Analyst Ming Chi-Kuo believes it could release an iWatch in late 2014.