Swatch Sues Target for Selling “Copies” of Its Watches

Case display of Swatch Group's recent Swatch brand watches

Case display of Swatch Group’s recent Swatch brand watches

New York—Swatch Group SA, the world’s largest watchmaker, sued Target Corp. on Monday, charging the mass merchant retailer with selling cheap knockoffs of its Swatch brand watches.

In its lawsuit made public Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Swatch maintains that Target copied its “zebra” and “multi-color” watch designs, which were inferior and whose sales would tarnish the Swatch brand image.

“By adopting the Zebra Watch trade dress and the Multi-Color Watch trade dress, defendants are unfairly competing with Swatch,” the complaint stated.

Besides stopping Target from selling the supposed watch copies, Swatch is seeking to recoup profit from the sales and to be awarded unspecified monetary damages.

While Target spokesperson said the company declined to discuss the lawsuit, he noted that Target’s policy is “to respect the intellectual property rights of others and we expect the same from our vendors and partners.”



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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology.