Apple apparently likes how the "iWatch" moniker fits a wearable computer and has reportedly applied for a trademark for the name in Japan.
The iPhone maker seeks to protect the name for a product that is categorized as a handheld computer or watch device, according to a filing earlier this month with the Japan Patent Office. The filing was only made public in the past week, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the application.
The rumor mill adopted the name -- perhaps derisively mocking Apple's "iProduct" naming convention -- when reports emerged that the company was developing a smartwatch that would run on its iOS mobile operating system. Employees from Apple's marketing, software, and hardware units who had previously worked on the iPhone and iPad are reportedly part of a team numbering more than 100 experimenting with wristwatch-like devices that sport curved glass.
The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) says the amount of money spent by foreign tourists in 2014 surpassed the preceding year by 43.1%, totaling 2.0278 trillion yen and exceeded two trillion yen for the first time ever. (Japan Today)
The assembly of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is expected to pass an ordinance next week acknowledging same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage, after a bill for the ordinance was approved at a committee meeting Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Lee Dong Cheol, 61, and an employee of his trading firm were arrested by the Kyoto, Kanagawa, Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectural police departments on Thursday for allegedly importing North Korean matsutake mushrooms under the pretense that they were Chinese ones. (The Japan News)
Police reported a record-high 28,923 minors aged below 18 to child welfare authorities as suspected victims of child abuse in 2014, up 33.9 percent from a year earlier, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (Kyodo)
The two names of what appears to be Japanese are on the boarding list of a Germanwings airplane that crashed in southeastern France Tuesday, according to the Japanese consulate general in Barcelona. (Jiji Press)
Police on Wednesday arrested a 42-year-old man in connection with the deaths of his parents, who were found fatally stabbed the day before in a factory the family ran in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. (Japan Times)