Swatch sues US retailer for ‘copycat’ watches

Swatch sues US retailer for 'copycat' watches
Swatch display at last year's Baselworld watch fair. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swatch, Switzerland’s biggest watchmaker, has sued American discount retail giant Target for allegedly selling copycat watches.

The Swiss company, based in Biel in the canton of Bern, accused the retail chain of copying its “zebra” and “multi-colour” models.

Swatch, which makes a line of plastic watches, said the quality of Target’s watches was inferior to its own in a lawsuit made public on Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Swiss company alleged the continued sale of the Target watches was liable to confuse shoppers and hurt Swatch sales.

Swatch said it filed the suit after complaining to Target of the alleged design infringement but that the Minneapolis-based company continued to sell the watches in question.

“By adopting the Zebra Watch trade dress and the Multi-Colour Watch trade dress, defendants are unfairly competing,” the Swiss watchmaker said in its complaint.

Swatch is seeking damages and an order to stop Target from selling the alleged counterfeit watches.

Target is not commenting on the lawsuit.

But company spokesman Evan Lapiska said the retailer’s policy is to “respect the intellectual property rights of others and we expect the same from our vendors and partners,” according to a report from Reuters.

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