One of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs’ most famous phrases, “One more thing,” is the subject of a lawsuit between Apple and Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group AG.
Despite the phrase being readily associated with Jobs, Swatch took steps to trademark the words several years ago, which had the effect of ruffling feathers at Apple. The battle dates back half a decade, but a ruling given by a London judge on Monday, March 29, may have settled things—in Swatch’s favor, BNN Bloomberg reports.
Steve Jobs Wasn’t the First to Say It
Judge Iain Purvis said that Swatch’s attempt to register the “One more thing” phrase as a trademark might have been designed to get a rise out of Apple. But he noted that there is nothing that stops it from doing so—and that the phrase was most likely said first not by Jobs, but by television detective Columbo.
Purvis also said that a previous court officer had been wrong when they suggested that, “Swatch’s intentions had stepped over the line between the appropriate and inappropriate use of a trademark.”
Apple vs. Swatch
Apple and Swatch have been battling one another at least since 2015. Swatch may be the reason Apple opted to call the Apple Watch by that name, rather than “iWatch” as had been rumored—and would have been in keeping with the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad branding. At the time, Swatch’s lawyers argued that iWatch sounded too close to iSwatch and Swatch, two trademarks that it already owned.
Swatch then took what sounds a whole lot like a shot at Apple, by filing the trademark “Tick different.” This evoked the iconic “Think different” tagline, which Apple famously used in its advertising in the late 1990s to great effect.
“One More Thing”
Steve Jobs, who is soon to be memorialized in a National Garden of American Heroes in the U.S., utilized the “One more thing” phrase regularly during his Apple tenure. As the words suggest, they were intended as an exclamation point at the end of Apple events (then dubbed “Stevenotes”) to show off an extra product Apple had up its sleeve.
The first “One more thing” announcement was the Apple AirPort Wi-Fi device in 1999. After this, Jobs used the phrase often to the point that it became an eagerly anticipated part of Apple events.
After Jobs passed away in 2011, Apple executives have used it far less frequently—although Tim Cook dusted the words off for the original Apple Watch introduction and, most recently, the iPhone X.
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