Swiss Watch International has been ordered to pay Audemars Piguet $9.8 million (£5.9m) in a design infringement case against, having sold Swiss Legend timepieces that were similar in design to Audemars’ Royal Oak collection.
Audemars Piguet said it was pleased to announce the win, following an extensive trial against manufacturer Swiss Watch International, which also operates retail site worldofwatches.com, where the Swiss Legend watches were sold.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found that Audemars Piguet had valid trademark rights in relation to its Royal Oak timepiece design – rights that were found to have been infringed by Swiss Watch International’s sale of the Swiss Legend Trimix Diver timepiece, which bore similarities to the Royal Oak.
The court awarded the full amount of Swiss Watch International’s profits, then trebled them for bad-faith conduct. Audemars has also been allowed to apply for an award for its attorney’s fees and costs of the suit. It has also entered an injunction forbidding the defendants from further dealings in infringing watch products.
Audemars Piguet chief executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias, said: "The Royal Oak was the first of its kind. Forty years later it remains unmatched amongst prestige sport watches. This is only the beginning of an authentic icon that is making an indelible imprint on the history of modern watchmaking. Thus we are full committed to enforcing our rights in the Royal Oak design and insist out trademarks be fully respected."