Two prominent watchmakers are engaged in trademark disputes in the United States, in cases that are sure to set precedents for the industry of haute horology.
Rolex is at odds with Melrose.com, an online buyer, seller and refurbisher of luxury watches that has been accused of using counterfeit parts to fix Rolex watches. Rolex is seeking an injunction barring the company – which brings in $10 million in revenues a year – from mentioning the Rolex name on their website.
Melrose.com President Krishnan Agarwal brushed of Rolex’s claims as “ridiculous”, adding “If you install after-market rims on a Ford Mustang, it doesn’t mean it’s not a Ford Mustang.”
Meanwhile near Boston, jeweler and watchmaker Harry Winston is fighting what it considers an infringement on its logo design by a local jeweler. M.K. Winston of Newbury, Mass. is accused of using a prominent “W” in their logo that looks suspiciously familiar to the house of Winston. M.K. Winston’s owner, Matt Khatib, claims the name is a conglomeration of his initials and his father-in-law’s name.
Trade groups like the Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee are meant to guard their members against the piracy of their intellectual property, but in the Rolex case the accused party is also a member of the committee.
Source: JewellerMagazine. Photo courtesy Rolex website.