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Swatch Trademarks "One More Thing..." 102

AmiMoJo writes: It's the famous line Steve Jobs often used on stage to introduce unexpected Apple gadgets since 1999. Of course he wasn't the only one to utter it — TV detective Columbo was catching out criminals with the phrase way back in the 1970s and '80s too. Now Swiss watchmaker Swatch has acquired a trademark on the phrase "one more thing".
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Swatch Trademarks "One More Thing..."

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  • ref: Steve Jobs' grave.
  • not to be confused with frosty piss, the maker apologized that they did not have time to trademark both.

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @02:37PM (#50382253)

    Nothing like abusing a commonly used phrase for gain instead of using innovation and good will.

    Oh, One more thing.

    This generally results in the failure of a company, people have great disdain for abuse.

    One more thing.

    Politicians usually lose offices after this too, so hopefully the cronies were already retiring.

    One more thing!

    Nah, too easy...

  • Anyone trying to use this extremely common words combination will have to pay royalties? This is way past ridiculous. It's just like microsoft trying to trademark the word "Windows"...
    • "Apple"... twice... when they met, it was almost like matter/anti-matter...

    • Anyone trying to use this extremely common words combination will have to pay royalties?

      You seriously have absolutely no idea how trademarks work?

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @03:02PM (#50382523) Homepage Journal

        Anyone trying to use this extremely common words combination will have to pay royalties?

        You seriously have absolutely no idea how trademarks work?

        I do have a bit of a clue. I have a couple of trademarks.
        I am surprised that a watch vendor got a trademark on a phrase used in promotional performances by another watch vendor. Maybe lawyers will be sharpening their quills.

      • You seriously have absolutely no idea how trademarks work?

        Absolutely none. IANAL and am not interested by this trademarks/patents/industrial design crap. I just don't care. But I think it's disgusting that someone claims property on a phrase commonly used everywhere, from TV shows to tech presentations. Or even worse on a single word. Damn, isn't an English dictionary some form of "prior art"?!?

        • "Priot art" doesn't apply to trademarks.

          Trademarks ONLY apply in the specific field of business you operate in, and are meaningless outside of that.

          So you and I can continue to use "one more thing" and the people from Swatch can kiss our collective asses.

          This should pretty much be limited to ... being used by a CEO at the end of a presentation in the introduction of a new product or feature, and specifically in the realm of watches and other lines of business which Swatch was engaged in as of the time they

          • one more thing

            "specifically in the realm of watches and other lines of business which Swatch was engaged in as of the time they got the trademark."

            https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/bd/2b/20/bd2b2054beaf00e2834a9f59419f6161.jpg

          • Trademarks ONLY apply in the specific field of business you operate in, and are meaningless outside of that.

            True, trademarks that aren't yet famous are limited to a field of use. But in the 1990s, the concept of trademark dilution [wikipedia.org] broadened exclusive rights in famous trademarks to cover even unrelated use.

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            "Windows" was widely used in technical contexts long before MS trademarked it. Which is why they lost the trademark battle against "Lindows" in the US court. They won in a European court where English was not the native language, and then they bought the US rights (to "Lindows") from the Lindows company.

            MS should not be allowed the rights to the term windows in any English speaking country. Defending against them, however, is likely to be both expensive and challenging. Because the legal system is rigge

        • Here's a hint about trademarks and how they apply.

          One More Thing

          Just Do It

          I'm Lovin' It

          Think Different

          This post has not violated any trademark law, and I am not legally liable for any kind of trademark infringement. Trademark law does not mean that "anyone" saying or using a trademarked phrase owes royalties.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Well, when you're appropriating a common phrase you do have make some effort to make that stand for your product. It's not enough to pick a phrase out of the air and claim it's yours. Nike did this with "Just Do It," and they obviously succeeded because most people who don't live under a rock would be able to identify Nike as the company that uses this trademark.

        And if I understand how this works it doesn't mean other people, even corporations with competitive products, can't use that phrase. They just

    • No. Other companies just can't use it as their tagline - sometimes even more restrictive than that - other companies in that field cannot use this as a tagline.
    • There are no royalties for trademarks. Others are simply not allowed to use the trademark.

      Oh, one more thing (obligatory):

      I always thought Swatch was a contraction for Shitty watch.

      • There are no royalties for trademarks. Others are simply not allowed to use the trademark.

        so they have to take down all those old columbo reruns?

      • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

        There are no royalties for trademarks.

        Not strictly true, things are often manufactured "under license" also known as brand leasing [wikipedia.org], where the trademark owner allows someone else to use a trademark in return for royalties. This is particularly common in the world of beers, where popular overseas brands are often brewed under license" [bbc.co.uk]. When I buy a can of an American beer in the UK, the chances are that it will have been nowhere near america and the small print on the can will say "brewed under license in the UK".

    • Anyone trying to use this extremely common words combination will have to pay royalties?

      Nope.

      This is way past ridiculous.

      That's a symptom of your misunderstanding.

      It's just like microsoft trying to trademark the word "Windows"...

      That wasn't bad either. Nor was Palm, Oracle, Amazon, etc. The trick is to understand that the purpose of those laws is to prevent you from buying counterfeit goods. What's worse than buying a computer with Windows on it? Turning it on and finding out it won't even run Windows apps because their choice of OS has a Windows skin on it.

      If you really did have a beef with Windows getting its trademark, the time to bring that up was long before Windows 95 came ou

      • If you really did have a beef with Windows getting its trademark, the time to bring that up was long before Windows 95 came out and became a household brand.

        Yes that was the time- and people did.
        "windows" was an industry standard term to describe windowed interfaces. Microsoft successfully stole it and there was outrage in the technical community.

        The OP used this event as a very effective example of a time when a generic term was inappropriately granted trademark status.

        You attempted to rebut his excellent example by explaining why trademarks are useful which doesn't at all refute the OP's point.

        At this point you might consider apologizing to the OP for the "sy

        • Yes that was the time- and people did.
          "windows" was an industry standard term to describe windowed interfaces. Microsoft successfully stole it and there was outrage in the technical community.

          Oh, bull. At best there was some mild griping about it in tech circles.

          You attempted to rebut his excellent example by explaining why trademarks are useful which doesn't at all refute the OP's point.

          Actually it did. Regardless of what was thought about it way back when, Microsoft owns that trademark now. Take it away from them and you create market confusion, which you don't actually want no matter how much you hate Microsoft.

          • At best there was some mild griping about it in tech circles.

            To be fair, outrage in tech circles usually results in nothing but mild griping anyway. But the severity of the outrage is a matter of personal opinion. I remember quite a few people being very put out.

            Actually it did.

            *sigh* No. You rebutted an argument that you imagined. One that the OP didn't say:
            He didn't say that trademarks aren't important.
            He didn't say that Microsoft's trademark should now be revoked.
            He didn't say that he dislikes Microsoft.

            He simply said that at the time the trademark was issued it was for a generic

    • Technically what they were finally successful in trademarking is "Microsoft Windows", but that doesn't stop them from sicking a pack of rabid lawyers on anyone using the word "Windows" for damn near anything.
    • Anyone trying to use this extremely common words combination will have to pay royalties? This is way past ridiculous. It's just like microsoft trying to trademark the word "Windows"...

      No. Royalties are a patent and copyright thing. They have nothing to do with trademarks. And, no, it's not the case that anyone trying to use these words will be restricted. Only other people in lines of business that are sufficiently close to Swatch's that their use of the words might confuse people, might make people think that the other product was from Swatch.

      So, if you make brightly-colored, trendy watches and try to use "One more thing" in your advertising, you may get slapped with lawsuit to force

      • "And, no, it's not the case that anyone trying to use these words will be restricted. Only other people in lines of business that are sufficiently close ..." Tell that to Monster Cable and their trademark on "Monster"
    • I'm pretty sure you have to use it in the context of a watch before they tear your balls off.
  • Why are companies allowed to trademark some exceedingly common words or phrases and then extort others based on that? Sure, such things ensure that there will always be need for lawyers, but what about the rest of the society? It just creates even more work for already-overworked courts, it hurts any entity that can't afford to fight back, it indirectly stifles free speech -- aside from the lawyers, the company, and the hands that the company greases the society at large doesn't seem to benefit from such sh

    • by new_01 ( 4014887 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @02:52PM (#50382439)
      Trademarks, and Patent law are jobs programs for the legal field. Along the way there are some successes. Same goes for the complex tax law.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Usually, the trademark is constrained to a certain field... the idea is that Microsoft should be able to trademark Windows in reference to an OS, so that Bob down the street can't also sell an OS named Windows, but it would have no affect on Dave's 'Windows 4 Less' store that sells house windows.

      Unfortunately, this doesn't always work out.

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      A trademark protects the owner in the subject area that the trademark is assigned to from competitors using the same phrase creating brand confusion. Swatch's trademark is for "SWATCH ONE MORE THING" in a bunch of areas basically jewelry/watches and electronics.

      Other's can use the word/phrase still. Some infomercial could use it about all the wonderful stuff their new magical goo can do, as long as it wasn't for jewelry or an electronic device. Steve Jobs, were he alive today, could use the phrase as part o

  • by Sowelu ( 713889 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @02:44PM (#50382341)

    It's like they've never seen Jackie Chan Adventures.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by djbckr ( 673156 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @02:47PM (#50382371)
    I think I'm going to trademark "What the Fuck?"
    I'll be rich!
  • I'm pretty sure that avoiding the use of "one more thing" won't be all that hard to do. There's always "but wait, there's more!"
    • The man who will be responsible for the technology to keep human heads alive in jars, Ron Popeil, would like to have a word with you. And given the wide variety of products he's invented, that trademark could be very broad.

  • I could not read the featured article because after I got a couple paragraphs down in the text, an automatically playing HTML5 video ad with sound that the site would not let me skip until after watching and listening to all 15 seconds of the 15-second ad caused me to reflexively press Ctrl+R. When the page reloaded, a full-window still ad appeared with a mailing list subscription nag on top of it.

    Ctrl+W. [tabcloseddidntread.com]

  • So, a trademark is only valid in the area of business in which it is used. It isn't a blanket "nobody can use my catchphrase".

    Which means this can pretty much only be used to ... what ... introduce a new watch by a CEO wearing a black turtleneck at the end of a keynote address? It sure as hell can't be used to prevent people from using it in a general sense.

    It gives the Swiss company the right to use "one more thing" in its promotions and advertising up until 2025, a move no one was expecting. Presumably

    • ... there's more [twimg.com].

      I can see a marketing association with a phrase like that really going wrong.

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      So, a trademark is only valid in the area of business in which it is used. It isn't a blanket "nobody can use my catchphrase".

      Which means this can pretty much only be used to ... what ... introduce a new watch by a CEO wearing a black turtleneck at the end of a keynote address? It sure as hell can't be used to prevent people from using it in a general sense.

      If you look at the registration [wipo.int], it tells exactly what areas it can't be used in (slightly reformatted for readability):

      511 International Classification

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

    Jobs clearly made "one more thing" work for Apple. But that was for product announcements and it seemed to be an in-joke by a secretive company that couldn't keep its secrets very well.

    Other than that, the expression seems to have more negative connotations than positive ones. It is the sort of thing that people say when they cannot stop talking, or when someone wants to emphasize a piece of bad news. It is the sort of thing that implies excess or redundancy. It is not the thing that many smart companie

  • Swatch: One more thing...
    Apple: It just works...
    Microsoft: Oh for christ sake again are you serious what the hell I just rebooted 20 minutes ago!
  • Meanwhile Nokia has submitted its application for "Good News Everybody!"
  • Now Steve Job will never say it again.

  • AFAIK Crayola failed to defend the name and it became synonymous with a wax colored stick rather than a specific product produced by a specific company. Windows is much the same, prior to M$ windows, if you can remember back that far referred to a virtual window on an IBM mainframe, but M$ failed to vigorously defend the term and it became an industry wide term used by all.

  • by Gim Tom ( 716904 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @04:39PM (#50383283)
    If anyone has a trademark on that phrase it was Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo in the TV series of the same name!
  • http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw... [tvtropes.org]

    (To be fair, it's a trope about the topic, not the specific phrase, so it encompasses a number of similar phrases. But do a search of that page on that exact phrase, you'll find a number of hits, not only Columbo.)

  • I had a manager who would say "the thing is" or "that's the thing is" in every other sentence. I kept track once with a pile of screws, 70+ in under an hour.
    • A10 second search says common phrases can be trademarked, but you will not be in violation of them as long as you would not be "likely to confuse the average consumer and make him or her believe the ____ is endorsed, sponsored, or approved by the owner of the trademark." For me "just do it" comes to mind. Really I think there is no way this crap should get a trademark. I would say something like "have a coke" could qualify. I guess I am just picturing a bunch a parodies, bums on the street yelling "just do
  • It's a penis, isn't it?(tm)

    And also cock-swatch(tm)

  • I've been saying that in print since the Internet was created (which is decades before we let you n00bZ use it).

  • ...could not be reached for comment.

  • Trademark isn't copyright. Restriction on use is much narrower. This isn't going to pose a problem to anyone except maybe other watchmakers.
  • Because your life is not cluttered enough
    Because you can't resist buying stupid shit
    Because you need just One More Thing to clutter up your home ...

    Swatch!
  • Things replaced by my smartphone: Land line, physical books, Game Boy, micro-cassette recorder, calculator, camera, walk-man, PDA, flash cards, timer, alarm clock, flash light, stupid keychain barcode cards, notepad, walkie-talkie, portable DVD player, and ...

    One more thing... Swatch

  • With trademarks, don't you have to demonstrate prior usage? Like, if you've never used it, but your competitor has, as in this case, aren't you ineligible to register it? Or am I mistaken?

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