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It’s coming: Apple requests patent for ‘iWatch’ in Japan, Mexico and Taiwan

Whispers of an Apple smart watch have grown louder this week after patent requests for a product aptly titled ‘iWatch’ cropped up in three separate countries.

The Cupertino company has been busy trying to protect its ideas, be they real or not, in Mexico, Japan and Taiwan recently. Apple has requested protection of the iWatch product name in these countries, as well as applying for a patent in Russia as well, and all patents relate to ‘portable computing devices’.

A local law firm has submitted the requests on behalf of Apple, whose 1 Infinite Loop address is included in each of them. Interestingly, the application in Mexico also includes a graphic of the iWatch branding, which is in block black capitals and very much unlike Apple’s usual style.

The iWatch graphic found in Apple’s Mexican patent request

Of course, these patent requests aren’t concrete evidence that such a product will ever make it to market. Apple loves to patent hundreds, if not thousands of ideas on a yearly basis, most of which never make it to fruition and are only patented so that rivals can’t pinch the idea. However, with reports from industry insiders and experts increasing and rival companies like Sony launching similar products, a smart watch from Apple is becoming more and more believable.

Previous reports have suggested that the iWatch will run a simplified version of Apple’s iOS platform and will pair up via Bluetooth with an iPhone or iPad in order to link notifications and other actions between an Apple mobile device and the watch, which itself will feature a small touchscreen.

It’s worth noting as well that patent filings don’t dictate an impending product launch either – the iWatch may not launch until next year, though there is a slim chance it may join the iPhone 5S later this year if Apple gets everything right in time.