Apple has applied for a trademark in Japan amid rumours that it may be developing a smart watch.
A document obtained from the Japan Patent Office's website said the application for "iWatch" was made on June 3 and made public on June 27.
It was not immediately clear when the application might be approved. Patent office and Apple officials in Japan were not available for comment.
The company has not confirmed it, but chief executive Tim Cook has hinted that it may be developing a wearable computing device such as a wristwatch.
Applying for a trademark in Japan is not proof of Apple's intentions. The company, based in Cupertino, California, has many patents for devices it will never produce.