In the current case, Apple had alleged the Swiss company’s ‘Tick different’ slogan was too similar to the US company’s ‘Think different’ slogan of the 1990s.
Apple originally filed an objection with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, but that organisation turned down the complaint.
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The US company then took the case to the St-Gallen based Federal Administrative Court.
To have a chance of winning its case against Swatch, Apple had to prove that the famous slogan – the related TV commercial won an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial in 1998 – had more than 50 percent recognition in Switzerland.
However, the Federal Administrative Court ruled Apple had not provided sufficient evidence that this was the case and found in Swatch’s favour.
The evidence for awareness of the slogan in Switzerland consisted of just several articles on Apple in Swiss broadsheet NZZ.
This dispute was just the latest in a series of legal confrontations between the two companies.
In 2007, Swatch, which is headed up by charismatic businessman Nick Hayek, trademarked the term ‘iSwatch’ before Apple was able to register the term ‘iWatch.
The Swiss watchmaker also trademarked the expression ‘One more thing’, which was made famous by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Apple has had other legal problems in Switzerland. In 2012, it reportedly paid 20 million Swiss francs (€17.8 million) to Swiss Federal Railways to avoid going to court over its use of the design of the Swiss railway clock in its i06 operating system.