Apple

Apple has reportedly filed for the "iWatch" trademark in Japan. (Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

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In the clearest sign yet that Apple is working on a smartwatch, the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has filed for an "iWatch" trademark in Japan.

A filing made public last week by the Japan Patent Office shows Apple is seeking to secure the trademark, according to Bloomberg.

Since late last year, Apple has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch device that could connect with the iPhone. The so-called iWatch would allow users to see new information, such as text messages and other notifications, without having to dig for their smartphones in their pockets.

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Numerous reports have come out saying Apple is developing the device, but the company's filing in Japan is the first time the tech giant is tied to the rumors in an official way.

According to Bloomberg, the filing is categorized as being for a handheld computer or watch device. Apple could not be reached for comment.

If Apple does release an iWatch, it would be its first new major product since the iPad mini was launched last October. It'd also be the first time Apple introduces a completely new line of products since the original iPad was introduced in 2010.

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