Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Trademark Infringement Case - Independent Jeweler vs Hublot

So what has been bubbling away on the legal back burner for the past few years and today it is finally being aired out to the general public. 

I personally do not have a dog in this particular fight, so owing to this, I am going to put out the release exactly as I have received it.  

AND - I sincerely welcome comments from you all!


The Jeweler vs. the Giant:
Celebrities such as NBA Legend Gary Payton and
Grammy Award-winning artist Shaggy set to testify in an L.A. courtroom

Los Angeles– September 12, 2018 Legendary jeweler, watchmaker to the stars, and black entrepreneur Chris Aire is preparing for one of the biggest fights of his life as he heads to court seeking to protect his creativity, livelihood, and craft against watchmaker giant Hublot, owned by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton.

The Nigerian-born American citizen Aire, well known in the luxury and celebrity world, built his company Solid 21 from the ground up, focusing on sourcing and selling conflict-free gems from mines where he is personally invested, and working to eliminate child labor in the mining industry in his home country. Solid 21 soon attracted a huge roster of high-profile clients such as the late Muhammad Ali, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Eminem, Angelina Jolie, Ellen DeGeneres, Courtney Cox, Cindy Crawford, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, and Jamie Foxx, to name a few. The business grew as his stunning collections of jewelry and artisan timepieces were sold around the world.

In 1989, Aire began branding a line of watches and jewelry using the moniker RED GOLD®. He believed his male clientele would rather purchase items branded with a more masculine moniker, rather than something that was traditionally called "rose gold." The strategy worked, and the line was a huge success. In 2003, Aire officially trademarked the term RED GOLD® and continued selling jewelry and watches under this new mark. Doing this expanded his male clientele, attracted media buzz, and proved to be wildly successful. “Through innovation, integrity, social responsibility and hard work, Solid 21 created a strong, magnetic brand in RED GOLD® that revolutionized the watch and jewelry industry and is highly coveted by Hollywood celebrities, sports stars and titans of industry,” says Aire.

By 2005, the Swiss watch industry took notice of the line’s success, and began misappropriating Aire’s trademark. Hublot, having previously used the term “pink gold,” began using Aire’s RED GOLD® brand to advertise its watches. This caused massive customer confusion, including with many of his existing clients.

“While some major watch brands inspired by our brand emulated our signature RED GOLD® product line,” Aire says, “Others, like Hublot owned by LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, decided to infringe our intellectual property rights instead. We have used the RED GOLD® brand for almost 30 years and were awarded the registered trademark 15 years ago, years before Hublot decided to begin misappropriating it.”

Aire filed suit against Hublot in 2010 and its luxury giant parent, LVMH, and was met with stiff opposition. The luxury giant not only denied any infringement, they argued that the RED GOLD® trademark was not valid, despite incontestable status from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Aire says, “For almost eight years, Hublot and its parent company LVMH attempted to use every trick in the litigation playbook to prevent a jury from hearing the story about this injustice.  But we persisted, and we overcame every obstacle thrown our way. We strongly believe that the jury will help right this wrong.”

The Solid 21, Inc. v. Hublot of America, Inc. case has wound its way through trial and appellate courts, and is now set for trial in Los Angeles on October 23, 2018. Representing Aire are intellectual property powerhouses John Pierce and David L. Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, who previously represented Samsung in what was called the “patent trial of the century” case against Apple.  “This isn't a normal competitor case,’ says Hecht. “It's a David v. Goliath case that will include a parade of celebrities and notable figures who will testify that Hublot's use of the RED GOLD® mark caused confusion, including the misconception that Chris Aire and Solid 21 had some relationship with Hublot.”

The witnesses Solid 21 plans to call at trial include NBA legend Gary Payton, Grammy winning recording artist Shaggy, NBA/WNBA super agent Aaron Goodwin; and Robert Filotei, formerly President of Piaget and Vice President of the Wholesale Division of Cartier Inc., New York, and former President of The American Watch Association.

Solid 21’s counsel contends the damages in the case are significant, and could be in the tens of millions of dollars. “Trademark law allows for disgorgement of a defendant's profits, damages Solid 21 is seeking in this case. In addition, Solid 21 is seeking another remedy, corrective advertising in the form of monetary relief,” says Hecht.

1 comment:

  1. i am happy that Solid 21 will fight this luxury company which sued me using my own name. and i can not protect my rights as i could not afford the money for the lawyer