Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet has accused Tommy Hilfiger and its licensing partner Movado Group of producing “imitations” of its Royal Oak watch.
In a lawsuit filed last Tuesday in New York federal court, Audemars Piguet Holding SA claimed Hilfiger and Movado “reproduced, copied and imitated” the design of the Royal Oak timepiece.
Citing trade dress and trademark infringement, the Swiss company said the defendants copied the look of its signature watch, that being, among other design elements, an octagonal unitary bezel with attachment studs and a specific decorative pattern.
Trade dress infringement claims concern visual appearance, for example, the look of a product or its packaging, and as a result, they tend to be difficult to prove.
Nonetheless, Audemars Piguet cited Hilfiger’s Eton watch, which was manufactured by Movado, as a prime offender.
“Defendants, without Audemars Piguet’s authorization, intentionally and knowingly have and continue to sell and offer for sale imitations of the Royal Oak watch configuration trademarks,” attorneys for Audemars Piguet said, explaining that since April, they have “repeatedly protested, in writing, the introduction and then sale” of the watches at issue, which continue to be sold today.
Movado Group declined to comment. Tommy Hilfiger did not reply to inquiries seeking comment.
Audemars Piguet emphasized that the sale of the Eton watch, which retails in the $200 price range, could cause “consumer confusion” due to its “similarity in design” to the Royal Oak, which retails for between $16,000 and $800,000.
Marrero disagreed with Louboutin, and allowed YSL to continue to sell the monochrome shoes. But he didn’t stop there. In his opinion, the judge questioned the validity of Louboutin’s trademark and mused about what he called its “monopoly” of the color red.
Louboutin quickly filed an appeal in January of last year, and the New York federal appellate court rendered a decision nine months later, disregarding Marrero’s thoughts about any kind of monopoly.
The court backed the validity of Louboutin’s mark, but narrowed it to refer to contrasting uppers, meaning YSL, or anyone else, could sell a red shoe with a matching sole.
The Audemars Piguet case will likely be more straightforward, even though trade dress infringement is involved.
For its part, Audemars Piguet is seeking an injunction barring the sale of the Eton watch, in addition to profits garnered from the sale of the timepiece, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and other costs.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast