Apple Watch
IBTimes UK

Apple is being sued in Europe over the term "iWatch" even though the company named its flagship wearable "Apple Watch".

Probendi, an Irish software development studio which owns the iWatch trademark in Europe, filed an urgent procedure on 26 June in a Milan court, claiming Apple had illegally directed customers searching the term iWatch on Google to its websites.

"Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch," the tribunal filing obtained by Bloomberg said.

Probendi co-founder Daniele Di Salvo had earlier warned Apple against using the term, according to a Bloomberg report. He also said the company was working on a cheaper smartwatch of its own, running Google's Android operating system. Di Salvo now says the project is "in standby".

"Apple never replied to our requests and objections, while Google said they are not responsible for links," Giacomo Bonelli, a lawyer for Probendi, was quoted as saying by the news agency.

An audit commissioned by Probendi and conducted by Barzano & Zanardo, which specialises in copyright disputes, valued the iWatch trademark at €87m (£61m, $95m), Bloomberg reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

The court will hear the iWatch case on 11 November.

The possible trademark issue was reported to be one of the reasons for Apple's decision to not use the term, moving away from its product naming pattern. Apple's other products are iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Many companies, including American Airlines, Geico and Rosetta Stone, have tried to take Google or its advertisers to court over similar trademark issues, most of the time without success. Google's policy for its ad service says it evaluates trademark complaints on a case-by-case basis and "may enforce certain restrictions".