When it comes to Apple, Jamaica knows all. Quartz has an interesting report out today about Apple’s habit of filing trademark applications for new products, including macOS and the Apple Watch, in the Caribbean country. The reason? Secrecy, of course.
Jamaica is one of several countries where trademark databases aren’t easily accessible online. That means Apple’s top-secret products can stay under the radar for longer. Quartz reports:
The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office allows visitors to search filings in person at its office in Kingston. People can also ask the office to search filings for them, but a Jamaican address is required to receive the results, and the process takes three weeks. A lawyer in Jamaica, however, can be appointed to perform the search, the office told Quartz. It said it has no current plans to put its filings database online.
The idea is to give hyper-competitive companies like Apple a head start. They eventually file trademarks for their gadgets in the United States—in databases that are much more easily searchable—but the earlier filings in places like Jamaica allow them to claim the rights without letting the cat out of the bag. Since it’s less likely that someone would travel to Jamaica in person, the companies get a little extra time (about six months, according to Quartz) to keep their new products hidden…