On March 8, the 2012 Basel Watch and Jewelry show opened in the northern Swiss town, which housed the most advanced watch technologies and luxury brands in the world. Tianjin Seagull Watch Industry Company, with every intention to make its name in the global stage, never expected walking into an infringement ambush. With the goliath Omega in its way, Seagull responded with determination and reasoning.
Fight back is the only choice against groundless accusation
The Basel Watch and Jewelry Show is the biggest of its kind in the world. On March 9, Omega filed a complaint to the IP board of the Show, claiming that Seagull used the word "CO-AXIAL" in its promotional materials and allegedly infringed a trademark of Omega. When lawyers of the IP board and heads of Omega came to the stand of Seagull at the end of the show that day, lawyers of Seagull handed over Seagull's signboard after communication with the IP board and got related evidences and materials ready for response.
Facing the sudden allegation, Seagull felt innocent. "By citing the English translation of '同轴的' from the encyclopedia and English-Chinese Dictionary as co-axial, Seagull defended that co-axial was used as an adjective to describe the watch, rather than a trademark, and our trademark is 海鸥",said Geng Lijun, the IP director of Seagull told reporter.
On the morning of March 10, the IP board announced its decision, ruling the signboard used by Seagull didn't infringe the trademark of Omega.
This is another victory for Seagull in the exhibition after 2011.
A new lesson for Chinese watch marker
Seagull watch is no stranger to Chinese people. The first home-made watch Seagull was born in 1955. "We always pay great attention to innovation. After several years' efforts, 90% of our products are IPR-laden products", Geng Lijun told reporter. The constantly improvement of Chinese watch technology has caught attention of some international famous watch makers. "It made them uneasy, since we made breakthrough in some cutting-edge technologies in such short time, which resulted in wild punches heading our way", said Geng.
As to this allegation, Geng said that it is a big lesion for Seagull. "Some domestic companies, including Seagull, usually put their eyes on the product name when filing trademark registration application. They felt that if the trademark was registered, it could prevent trademark dispute from happening. Some international famous watch makers, however, also filed trademark registration for core technologies and product attributes on top of their product names, which is surely a new lesson for Chinese companies", said Geng.
(China IP News)