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Apple Versus the Trademark Sleuths

For years, self-styled gumshoes have unearthed the names of soon-to-launch gadgets by searching trademark offices from Jamaica to Trinidad. Then that got a lot harder.
Tim Cook announces new iPhone models in 2016. 

Tim Cook announces new iPhone models in 2016. 

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

One of Apple's most fiercely guarded secrets? The name of the next iPhone. It's known that the device will launch later this year, complete with a stainless steel and glass body, a better screen and a speedy 3-D sensor that recognizes your face. It may be called the iPhone X to celebrate the iconic product's tenth anniversary or just iPhone 8. But Tim Cook doesn't want us to know for sure until he utters the name on stage.

In recent years, Apple-obsessed sleuths have managed to ferret out the names and details of the company's products by searching trademark offices around the world. But their challenge has become exponentially harder thanks to a well-timed rule change at Jamaica's trademark office and some clever maneuvering in Liechtenstein.