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Apple makes bid for 'iWatch' name in Japan trademark grab

The fruit-flavoured tech giant has applied for the name in Japan, fuelling speculation that it's plotting a watch gadget.

Apple has reportedly made a trademark grab for the 'iWatch' name, pouring fuel on fiery speculation that the company is plotting a wrist-based smart gadget.

Apple applied for possession of the name with the Japan Patent Office on 3 June, in a filing that's now been made public, Bloomberg reports.

The bid apparently describes any such gadget as a handheld computer or watch device, and follows months of rumours that the iPhone-maker is cooking up a new brand of device to follow its glossy phones and tablets.

Apple has allegedly also tried to grab the 'iWatch' name in Russia, MacRumours reports, with that filing also said to have taken place in early June.

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Applying for the trademark isn't definitive proof that Apple is making a watch, or that it would call any such gadget 'iWatch' -- it may merely be a defensive move to muscle in on the name, or a speculative name-grab, should the company decide to make a fancy timepiece in years to come.

That said, Apple has seen its stock tumble despite continuing to earn massive profits, as investors worry that the iconic organisation hasn't created any new kinds of products in several years, and may be losing its mojo.

Meanwhile rival Samsung has said that it's 'definitely' building a watch, reportedly code-named 'Altius', and Google is reportedly making one too. Sony recently revealed its SmartWatch 2, which connects to an Android phone to display notifications, or handle calls and other applications.

Are high-tech watches the future? See us debate that very question in the most recent edition of the world-famous CNET UK podcast below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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