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Those hints at the existence of an Apple watch product continue to gain credibility. Despite its super-secret approach, nothing can hide the legal footprints left behind in trying to protect the brand.

Time Is Ticking for Apple

While not as exciting as a blurred pic of some plastic bit of a possible iPhone 6, the latest news from people following Apple's legal paper trail is that the company is in the process of registering the trademark name "iWatch" in Japan, with fresh sightings in Mexico and Taiwan following on from efforts in Russia and likely elsewhere.

That further solidifies the suspicion that Apple, along with Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others are hot in pursuit of Sony's SmartWatch and the Pebble effort. However, as Apple has found in the past, getting global rights to pretty much any name is a serious chore. And with rivals out-designing it in smartphones and tablets, can Apple really do something to stand out? 

With the phrase iWatch (or similar efforts) likely already owned by several different companies around the continents, how close is the Italian I'm Watch? Apple has a major task for its lawyers, and who knows how many spammers are holding onto domains, trading company names and other aspects of this merry-go-round.

It is likely that serious money will need to change hands for Apple to get enough security ahead of launch. But that didn't stop it launching the iPhone despite Cisco's ownership of that product name. 

What Will Be On Your Wrist?

While Sony has done pretty much what you'd imagine Sony to do with any clever concept, the onus is on Apple and the other mobile players to wow the world with design splendor and great utility. Concepts showing curved, totally transparent, glass are pushing people's expectations way beyond what is probably realistic, but there is still plenty of potential for the Cupertino design gurus to come up with something packed with "wow" factor. 

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Sony's SmartWatch doesn't look particularly smart

Of course, there's nothing to stop iWatch being the name of some nebulous part of Apple's TV plans but the money is piling up on a phone. Our only request would be Apple shows the final design to the world long before it sends orders to China for parts and construction, so we get a pleasant surprise when the actual product is unveiled (likely in 2014, unless Apple has a super-secret construction facility somewhere).