Highend Watchmakers Target Smartwatch Face Look-a-Likes

Posted by at 8:16 am on November 24, 2014

MondaineA number of major watch brands have been sending cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals claimed to be offering smartwatch faces without permission, a report says. Some smartwatches — particularly ones based on Android Wear — offer the ability to load custom face designs. A few people have been creating ones based on existing watches however, triggering copyright and trademark complaints.

The brands issuing notices are said to include IWC, Panerai, Omega, Fossil, Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot, Certina, Swatch, Flik Flak, and Mondaine. One face download site, FaceRepo, notes that it has taken to keyword filtering to block infringing content before it can even be uploaded.

Next year’s Apple Watch will likely only face this problem indirectly at best, through faces hacked into the firmware — if it’s even technically feasible. The stock firmware will have just 11 general designs, albeit customizable in terms of colors and smaller design elements.

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