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Movado Wins $25K In Knockoff Lawsuit

NEW YORK — Movado LLC won a $25,000 judgment against a New York wholesaler selling knockoffs of its most popular watch designs.<BR><BR>U.S. District Court Judge Denise L. Cote granted the award and issued a permanent injunction barring Woodside,...

NEW YORK — Movado LLC won a $25,000 judgment against a New York wholesaler selling knockoffs of its most popular watch designs.

U.S. District Court Judge Denise L. Cote granted the award and issued a permanent injunction barring Woodside, N.Y.-based Kirch Industrial Co. from selling watches deemed to be imitations of Movado’s Museum line, known for its distinctive black face and circular dot at the 12 o’clock position. The order was reached on consent between the companies and signed by the judge on March 10.

“We didn’t feel there was any merit to the lawsuit, but the cost of litigation outweighed what was at issue,” said Gregory P. Gulia of Duane Morris LLP, who represented Kirch.

As a condition of the consent order, Kirch provided Movado with all documents and model numbers for “all timekeeping products that they have sold and/or offered for sale that bear a dot on the face.”

Movado originally filed suit on June 15, 2004, accusing the company of selling imitations of the Museum watches to Fortunoff and Bed Bath & Beyond stores in New York. According to the complaint, Movado’s lawyers sent Kirch a cease-and-desist letter regarding the same watches as far back as Jan. 20, 1998.

The complaint alleged violations on six counts, including federal trademark infringement and deceptive trade practices.

According to background information in the complaint, Movado has sold the Museum line of watches since 1962, sales of which exceeded $112 million in 2003.

Kirch responded to the complaint on Sept. 3, 2004, arguing that Movado’s registrations were “invalid and should be canceled because the purported marks are nondistinctive, generic and unable to indicate a single source of goods.” Kirch also argued that Movado’s dot trademark was “not sufficiently famous or associated,” with Movado to qualify for protection.

Kirch issued counterclaims against Movado in its response to the complaint. Those counterclaims were dismissed as part of the consent ruling.