Swatch claims several court errors in renewed legal battle against Fort Collins watchmaker

FORT COLLINS and NEW YORK — Swiss watch conglomerate Swatch Group is challenging all of the results of its previous failed lawsuit against Fort Collins manufacturer Vortic Watch Co. over its claimed trademark rights.

In its brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, Swatch claims the lower court erred on all of its rulings in favor of Vortic in the case decided this year. 

Swatch claims that a “substantial number” of customers purchased the Vortic watches thinking they were produced by Swatch under the Hamilton mark, and the Fort Collins company’s disclaimers aren’t enough to ward off such confusion.

Swatch first filed suit against Vortic in mid-2017. It acquired Hamilton in 1974, five years after the American watchmaker shut down. The pocket watches that Vortic repurposes were produced decades before that acquisition.

In that case, a district court judge ruled that Vortic’s watches, some of which re-purposed antique Hamilton pocket watch faces into wristwatches, were not likely to be confused with a modern Hamilton made by Swatch when compared to one another. The judge also ruled that Vortic’s advertising was clear in that its product was not meant as a direct copy or competitor to the modern timepieces.

Vortic has 30 days to file its reply brief.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

FORT COLLINS and NEW YORK — Swiss watch conglomerate Swatch Group is challenging all of the results of its previous failed lawsuit against Fort Collins manufacturer Vortic Watch Co. over its claimed trademark rights.

In its brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, Swatch claims the lower court erred on all of its rulings in favor of Vortic in the case decided this year. 

Swatch claims that a “substantial number” of customers purchased the Vortic watches thinking they were produced by Swatch under the Hamilton mark, and the Fort Collins company’s disclaimers aren’t enough to ward off such confusion.

Swatch first filed suit against Vortic in mid-2017. It acquired Hamilton in 1974, five years after the American watchmaker shut down. The pocket watches that Vortic repurposes were produced decades before that acquisition.

In that case, a district court judge ruled that Vortic’s watches, some of which re-purposed antique Hamilton pocket watch faces into wristwatches, were not likely to be confused with a modern Hamilton made by Swatch when compared to one another. The judge also ruled that Vortic’s advertising was clear in that its product was not meant as a direct copy or competitor to the modern timepieces.

Vortic has 30 days to file its reply brief.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC