Apple has already said that its revolutionary new Apple Card will be coming to customers in the U.S. this summer, and with Apple’s retail employees already trying it out and the release of the requisite iOS 12.4 seemingly imminent, it doesn’t sound like we’ll have much longer to wait for the actual public rollout. It could happen any day now.
Ever since the card debuted, however, users in other countries have been wondering when they’ll be getting their hands on Apple’s slick new titanium credit card. Although Apple itself has remained tight-lipped, at least some executives from its financial partner Goldman Sachs have at least acknowledged they’re thinking about it.
Now it looks like Apple has begun taking preliminary steps to roll out the Apple Card in other markets, making a series of trademark filings to secure the “Apple Card” branding elsewhere.
Apple Filing for Apple Card Trademarks Around the World
Earlier this week, Patently Apple discovered that Apple has filed for both the “standard and figurative trademarks” not only for the Apple Card, but also for Apple Cash (formerly Apple Pay Cash) in both the European Union and Hong Kong. In this case, the “standard” trademark filings are simply the spelled out words — “Apple Card” and “Apple Cash” — while the “figurative” trademarks are the versions that use the Apple logo in place of the name — Card and Cash.
The single European trademark filing would cover Apple’s trademarks for the card and payment services in all 28 European members, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. (until at least October, anyway).
Patently Apple adds that Apple has filed their European trademarks under six different classifications, covering its bases to include not only financial and monetary trademarks, but also advertising, insurance, real estate affairs, business administration, legal and security services, and even scientific, technological, audiovisual, measuring, and life-saving devices and services. While the Apple Card and Apple Cash obviously don’t pertain to all of these areas, Apple clearly wants to ensure that the terms are protected regardless of how other companies may want to use them.
In addition to the European and Hong Kong filings, MobileSyrup also discovered that Apple applied to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to secure the Apple Card and Apple Cash trademarks in Canada, although it notes that CIPO has yet to approve the trademark, which to be fair isn’t surprising since it was only filed two days ago.
What This Means
Although Apple’s trademark applications are a good (although by no means certain) indication of the company’s intent to release the Apple Card in those markets, they don’t necessarily reveal much about the timeline. Apple routinely files trademarks well in advance of the release of new products, and sometimes even files trademarks solely to reserve them for possible future use.
Of course, the Apple Card is already an actual product, but regardless of when Apple plans to roll it out, the company is going to want to be absolutely certain that it won’t later have a legal fight on its hands to use its actual branding, simply because somebody else beat it to registering a trademark.
To put this in perspective, Apple’s registration of the “Apple Cash” trademarks aren’t technically new for the company’s peer-to-peer payment service, but are rather just the result of the company rebranding the service from “Apple Pay Cash” to simply “Apple Cash” and yet the service doesn’t appear to be anywhere near a rollout in those countries where the previous trademark was already registered. For example, Apple previously trademarked “Apple Pay Cash” in Canada back in 2017, yet the payment service still remains unavailable in Canada, and there are still no signs that it’s coming anytime soon.
Despite this, however, it’s safe to say that Apple does have plans to roll out the Apple Card in other countries as soon as it’s able to get the necessary pieces in place, however mere trademark filings are the easiest of the hurdles that Apple — and its partner Goldman Sachs — will have to overcome in satisfying the regulatory and financial requirements in Europe, Canada, and Hong Kong.