LONDON — Cartier has obtained a preliminary injunction in Germany against Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil from producing its Jasmine watch model, which launched in August.
This story first appeared in the December 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to legal documents, the Court of Cologne, Germany, ruled on Oct. 4 that Raymond Weil’s Jasmine watches are illegal imitations of Cartier’s Ballon Bleu model.
Cartier had argued that the Jasmine’s blue steel hands and round dial with Roman numerals was a look-alike of the Ballon Bleu.
The injunction orders Raymond Weil to cease from further selling or promoting the Jasmine model in Germany. The penalty for not doing so is up to 250,000 euros, or $337,500 at current exchange, for each case of contravention, or imprisonment of up to two years.
Raymond Weil can appeal the court’s decision, which was made ex parte, or without all parties present or represented.
Cartier chief executive officer Bernard Fornas stated, “We have always taken firm action against infringers and copycats to protect our models, and we are determined to vigorously take action throughout the world to preserve the Ballon Bleu from the blurring and dilution deliberately sought and caused by Raymond Weil’s Jasmine models.”
He declined further comment.
A spokesperson for Raymond Weil confirmed that the company is in litigation in Germany with Cartier over the “Jasmine” watch collection. The spokesperson added, “The decision from the court in Cologne has not been served to Raymond Weil, therefore the preliminary injunction does not yet have any impact on the Jasmine sales in Germany nor in other jurisdictions.
“The decision is an ex parte preliminary injunction, which has been rendered without having heard Raymond Weil’s arguments and which is preliminary in nature.
“Said decision is based on a more than doubtful theory of an alleged ‘Cartier DNA,’ which we consider to be rather far-fetched. We are therefore highly optimistic, if not convinced, that the court order — if it will ever come into effect — will be lifted upon Raymond Weil arguments being heard.”