Seven years ago, I shared with longtime readers of this blog the lawsuit filed by Los Angeles based luxury jeweler Chris Aire against Hublot of America, Inc., LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc., LVMH Watch & Jewelry USA, Inc., and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The case has since been extensively litigated and the latest update is the triumph by the “King of Bling” against the aforementioned parties in the appeals court, resulting in the matter returning back to the lower court for trial.
See excerpts from the press statement below:
“The King of Bling, Chris Aire, and his company Solid 21 Inc., defeats Hublot of America, Inc., LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc., LVMH Watch & Jewelry USA, Inc., and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH in Ninth Circuit Court.
Solid 21 Incorporated had been using its famous incontestable trademark, Red Gold for sixteen years before Hublot adopted the same mark in 2005. Prior to the switch, Hublot was using the generic names, rose gold, pink gold and 5N in connection with the sale of their watches. Solid 21 Inc., sued for trademark infringement in 2010.
LVMH and Hublot tried to prevent the jury from hearing the case by moving for summary judgment in 2013. The District Judge, Dolly M. Gee ruled in favor of Solid 21 Inc., in September 2014, finding that there were triable issues of fact sufficient to warrant a trial by Jury, but reversed herself on June 12th 2015, ruling instead that the mark was generic. Her decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court, and the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry FH joined the lawsuit by filing an amicus curiae, throwing in their weight behind their members and hoping to influence the appellate court to rule in their favor.
On Friday March 24, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case against LVMH and Hublot for trial by Jury. This marks the second time the appellate court has rejected a member of the Federation’s claim that Red Gold is generic. Breitling attempted to make the same failed argument in the Ninth Circuit Court in 2013.
“We appreciate the order and are grateful to the appellate judges for reinforcing our confidence in the law. We are relieved that the jury will finally get to hear the facts in this case,” said Aire regarding his victory…
The case is Solid 21 Inc. v. Hublot of America et al., case number 15-56036, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”
Archived case history on Fashionentlaw.com