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Apple seeks an iWatch trademark

TOKYO — Apple Inc. is seeking a trademark for ‘‘iWatch’’ in Japan as rival Samsung Electronics readies its own wearable computing device.

Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company and maker of the iPhone, is seeking protection for the name, which is listed in a category for products such as a hand-held computer or watch, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office that was made public last week. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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Apple’s shares have retreated more than 40 percent from a record high in September amid concern that chief executive Tim Cook has taken too long to deliver a new breakthrough product to help make up for stiffer iPhone competition. The company has about 100 designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the company’s plans said in February.

Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, is developing a wristwatch, the company said in March. Sony Corp. has sold its SmartWatch, which wirelessly connects to phones using Google’s Android operating system and allows users to take calls and reply to e-mails or texts, for more than a year.

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