audemars piguet v. tommy hilfiger - complaint

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  • 7/27/2019 Audemars Piguet v. Tommy Hilfiger - Complaint

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 1 of 18\ _ ._ - rJ .. U''1 . G f'"'i R " K4 0 6 3 . . . ~

    Milton SpringutTal S. BenscharSPRINGUT LAW P.C.75 Rockefeller Plaza- 191h FloorNew York, New York 10019(212) 813-1600Attorneys for Plaintiffs Audemars Piguet Holding S.A. andAudemars Piguet (North America) Inc.UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK----------------------------------------------------------------xAUDEMARS PIQUET HOLDING S.A. andAUDEMARS PIGUET (NORTH AMERICA) INC.,

    Plaintiffs,v.TOMMY HILFIGER U.S.A., INC., TOMMYHILFIGER LICENSING LLC, MOVADO GROUP,INC., and JOHN DOES 1 to 10,

    Defendants.----------------------------------------------------------------x

    Plaintiffs complaining of defendants, allege as follows:THE PARTIES' WATCHES

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    406340.2Milton Springut

    Tal S. Benschar

    SPRINGUT LAW PC75 Rockefeller Plaza 19

    thFloor

    New York, New York 10019

    (212) 813-1600

    Attorneys for Plaintiffs Audemars Piguet Holding S.A. and

    Audemars Piguet (North America) Inc.

    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

    ----------------------------------------------------------------xAUDEMARS PIGUET HOLDING S.A. and :

    AUDEMARS PIGUET (NORTH AMERICA) INC., : COMPLAINT

    :Plaintiffs, :

    v. : CIVIL ACTION

    :TOMMY HILFIGER U.S.A., INC., TOMMY :

    HILFIGER LICENSING LLC, MOVADO GROUP, :

    INC., and JOHN DOES 1 to 10, :

    :Defendants. :

    ----------------------------------------------------------------x

    Plaintiffs complaining of defendants, allege as follows:

    THE PARTIES WATCHES

    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 2 of

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 3 of 18

    NATURE OF THE CASE1. This is a trade dress infringement case brought by plaintiffs under the Trademark

    Act, New York General Business Law, and common law to remedy the blatant copying andconfusing use of its distinctive and registered watch design trade dress. As detailed below,plaintiffs have used their Royal Oak watch design for over forty years, and it is one of the mostrecognizable watch designs in the world. In connection with the 401h Anniversary of the designof the Royal Oak watch by famous watch designer Gerald Genta, a leading fashion magazinecommented:

    [Genta's design] solution was so profound he managed to createone of the most instantly recognizable timepieces ever, with itsfamous octagonal bezel and eight prominent screw heads like aportal . . .

    GQ Magazine, June 20, 2012, article entitled "Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Turns 40."Defendants have misappropriated this famous design by producing a very close imitation.

    Despite repeated protests by plaintiffs, defendants continue to flood the market with theirinexpensive imitations, whose close design clearly suggests an intent to trade of fplaintiffs'goodwill. Plaintiffs accordingly have no choice but to seek relie f from the Court.

    JURISDICTION AND VENUE2. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the claims in this action arising

    under the Trademark Act of 1946, as amended, relating to trademark and trade dressinfringement and false designations of origin and false descriptions pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1121and 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1338.

    3. This Court has supplemental jurisdic tion over the claims in this Complaint arising

    under New York statutory and common law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1367(a), because the state2

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 4 of 18

    law claims are so related to the federal claims that they fonn part of the same case or controversyand derive from a common nucleus of operative facts, and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1338.

    4. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b).

    THE PARTIES5. Plaintiff Audemars Piguet Holding SA, is a societe anonyme, legally organized

    under the laws ofSwitzerland, having its principal office at Route de France 16, CH-1348 LeBrassus, Switzerland ("AP Holding").

    6. Plaintiff Audemars Piguet (North America) Inc. is a corporation organized andexisting under the laws of the State ofDelaware, having its principal office and place ofbus inessat 135 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022 ("AP North America"). Plaintiffs arecollectively referenced herein as "Plaintiff ' or "Audemars Piguet."

    7. Defendant Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. is a Delaware corporation having itsprincipal place ofbusiness at 601 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 ("Tommy HilfigerUSA"). Defendant Tommy Hilfiger USA is transacting and doing business in this judicial districtand is subject to the personal jurisdiction of this Court.

    8. Defendant Tommy Hilfiger Licensing LLC is a Delaware limited liabilitycompany having its principal place ofbusiness at 601 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001("Tommy Hilfiger Licensing"). Defendant Tommy Hilfiger Licensing is transacting and doingbusiness in this judicial district and is subject to the personal jurisdiction of this Court.

    9. Defendant Movado Group, Inc. is a New York corporation, having an office andplace ofbusiness at 650 From Road, Suite 375, Paramus, NJ 07652 ("Movado"). DefendantMovado is transacting and doing business in this judicial district and is subject to the personaljurisdiction of this Court.

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 5 of 18

    10. Defendants John Does 1 to 10 are other entities affiliated with one or more of thenamed defendants, who are involved in the activities which form the basis of this Complaint.

    11. All of the above defendants are collectively referenced herein as "Defendants."

    FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTSThe AUDEMARS PIGUET Brand and Businesses

    12. Plaintiffs origins date back to 1874, when Jules Louis Audemars met EdwardAuguste Piguet, at Vallee de Joux, considered to be the cradle of prestige watch-making. Whenthey graduated from school they went to Vallee de Joux to start working in their favorite field ofwatch manufacturing. In 1875, they founded a firm later known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie, thecorporate predecessor of Plaintiff.

    13. In the years that followed, Audemars Piguet became famous as a watchmanufacturer and designer, world-renowned for its fine craftsmanship and watch designs.Audemars Piguet watches are considered among the finest in watch craftsmanship, and aresought after as luxury goods around the world, including in the United States.

    14. AP Holding is the worldwide owner of all trademarks and trade dress concerningthe watches manufactured under the Audemars Piguet brand, including the rights asserted herein.AP North America is the exclusive United States distributor and a licensee of those rights.

    The Royal Oak Watch15. In 1972, Audemars Piguet introduced what it named the Royal Oak watch. It was

    the first high-end luxury sports watch entirely made of steel. Due to its specific and uniquedesign, the Royal Oak became an instant hit, and in the subsequent 40 years has become one of

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 6 of 18

    the most famous watch designs in the world. Indeed, in December 2011, the New York Timeslisted it as one of only a few "truly classic watches" and a "timeless icon."

    16 . The trade dress ofthe Royal Oak watch (the "ROYAL OAK Trade Dress")consists of a collocation of design elements. The combination of all or almost all such elementstogether give the watches a distinct overall look and commercial impression. Although theseelements cannot be perfectly described in words, the following describes the elements of theROYAL OAK Trade Dress:

    (a) the watch face is round and surrounded by an octagonal-shaped unitarybezel which features eight hexagonal-shaped screw heads positionedparallel to the curve of the bezel at each corner of the octagon;

    (b) the watch case is a unitary piece below the bezel and extending beyond thefour corner sides (i.e., NE, SE, SW and NW) of the bezel;

    (c) at the north and south ends of the bezel, the width of the case narrowsslightly and slopes downwardly at both ends, giving the appearance of aplate extending across the width of the case and including twoindentations on each end into which are inserted attachment studs whichconnect the case to a bracelet;

    (d) the attachment studs are rectangular with rounded ends;(e) the watch face is adorned with a "Grande Tapisserie" decorative pattern

    constituted by regularly spaced raised points covering the entire face;(t) the winding crown is a faceted hexagon.

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    Case 1:13-cv-05666-VM Document 1 Filed 08/13/13 Page 7 of 18

    On models including a metal bracelet, the bracelet has the following distinctivedesign.(g) the bracelet consists of connecting links which are trapezoid-shaped,

    having parallel sides on top and bottom and sloping sides that narrow thewidth of the bracelet as one moves away from the watch case;

    (h) the links have a pair of indentations on each parallel side into which areinserted small connecting studs which match the shape of the attachmentstuds and such indentations are aligned and arranged that all the smallconnecting studs together with the attachment studs form two lines ofrectangular shaped plates