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Samsung seeks web watch trademark

Samsung has applied for US and South Korean trademarks for a watch that connects to the internet.

Samsung described Samsung Galaxy Gear as a wearable digital electronic device in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle in its application to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

A month earlier, it applied for a Samsung Gear trademark in South Korea. In May, Samsung registered design patents in South Korea that show a wristwatch with a flexible display.

The trademark filings are the latest sign that global technology companies are racing to apply mobile technology to wearable products such as watches and glasses.

The trademark applications did not show the shape of the products, but drawings from the design patent approved in May showed a watch-like design with a flexible screen that curves around the wrist.

The US trademark application said the device will be "capable of providing access to the internet, for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages" as well as "keeping track of or managing personal information".

The trademark filings show that Samsung is deep in preparations for what industry experts expect will be a new generation of mobile technology that dramatically expands the utility of single-function objects such as watches and glasses.

The South Korean consumer electronics giant was caught flat-footed by Apple's invention of the smartphone but through what turned out to be a legally risky strategy of imitation was able to capture a dominant share of the global smartphone market within a few years.

Apple applied on June 3 for a trademark in Japan for the iWatch. Industry watchers have long speculated that Apple is working on a smart watch that uses a version of the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad.

Google is testing an early version of internet-connected spectacles called Glass. It uses a small screen above the right eye that displays information and imagery retrieved from the internet.

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