Consent judgments were entered against three independently operated perfume distributors last month, the end result of a lawsuit filed by Victorinox Swiss Army Inc. in November involving the alleged sale of “decoded” Swiss Army fragrances.
This story first appeared in the November 10, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Victorinox against Perfume Network Inc., R.K. Fragrances Inc. and Perfumes 4 All Inc. R.K. Fragrances does business as Perfume Americana Inc., and Perfumes 4 All Inc. does business as Fragrance Globe, according to court records. A copy of the complaint was not available through the court.
The consent judgments said the lawsuit asserted claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition, as well as false designation. They also disclosed the legal action involved Swiss Army fragrances, which had been “decoded,” meaning that batch codes or radio frequency identification tags containing information such as serial numbers had been removed.
Companies, particularly those in the beauty industry, typically pay special attention when such codes are missing because they provide assurance to the buying public that products have been manufactured and distributed under a brand’s quality control standards.
The defendants were enjoined from selling or distributing any decoded Swiss Army fragrances or “any other products bearing confusingly similar marks,” among other points.
Victorinox has been active in protecting the Swiss Army brand against both infringers and counterfeiters. “Already, counterfeit imitations of our fragrances with an estimated retail value of more than $1 million have been seized by the alert action of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection with our cooperation,” said Veronika Elsener, chairman of Victorinox.