WATCH OUT: Later this month, Russia’s Supreme Court will decide on a trademark lawsuit involving a watch brand owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont. According to industry sources, the court will rule on April 24 whether the Russian retailer Ritter-Gentleman can continue to sell midmarket clothing and accessories under the Vacheron Constantin name.
Vacheron Constantin is among Switzerland’s oldest existing watch manufacturers, with prices that start at about 15,000 British pounds, or $24,000 at current exchange, and stretch into the millions of pounds. Richemont owns the trademark for Vacheron watches in Russia, but in 2005 Ritter-Gentleman registered the trademark for Vacheron clothing. Richemont has also taken Rospatent, Russia’s official trademark office, to court.
Richemont has already won a case against Ritter-Gentleman and Rospatent for registering and using the name of Jaeger-LeCoultre, another of its high-end watch brands, but that decision is being appealed. A Richemont spokesman declined to comment.