April 2019. Swiss watchmaker Swatch is locked in a fierce struggle with electronics giant Samsung. At the end of February, it submitted a complaint to the District Court in New York, claiming that the Korean firm’s ‘watch faces’ scheme infringed its own trademark rights.
Samsung’s Galaxy online App Store is marketing interchangeable ‘watch faces’ with which consumers can change the external appearance of their smartwatches. Swatch, however, maintains that many of these watch faces have been lifted from its own designs. Worse still, many of the Samsung faceplates display the names or logos of the familiar Swatch brands Longines, Tissot and Omega.
Compensation for losses
Although Samsung has now removed some of the watch faces from its website, Swatch claims it’s still selling designs that infringe its own design rights. What’s more, Samsung is refusing to admit the infringement. The Swiss watchmaker therefore wants the Court to order Samsung to take down all the rogue designs from its online shop, and is also demanding compensation for loss of earnings.