February 25, 2019 / 6:31 PM / 7 months ago

Swatch says Samsung's smart watch faces breached its trademark

FILE PHOTO : The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swatch Group has filed a complaint against Samsung Electronics Co and Samsung Electronics America Inc, saying the two companies infringed upon its trademark on designs for downloadable smart watch faces.

The Swiss watchmaker said the South Korean companies’ watch faces “bear identical or virtually identical marks” to the trademarks it owns and uses on its brands which include Longines, Omega, Swatch, and Tissot.

“This unabashed copying of the Trademarks can have only one purpose – to trade off the fame, reputation, and goodwill of the Swatch Group Companies’ products and marks built painstakingly over decades,” Swatch Group said in a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Swatch has demanded a trial in the complaint which also alleges unfair competition and unfair business practices, and is seeking more than $100 million in damages.

It said it had launched the action in the United States because that was where its trademarks were registered and where apps for Samsung’s Gear Sport, Gear, S3 Classic and Frontier watches could download watch face designs that infringed its trademarks.

“This is a blatant, wilful and international violation of our trademarks by Samsung,” a Swatch spokesman said.

“The affected brands are worth billions. Our claim for compensation? Triple digits in millions.”

Samsung declined to comment.

Reporting by John Revill; additional reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul; editing by David Evans and Jason Neely

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