The Future of WOW.tv

March 19, 2013

BASED on a recent thread over at Watchlords, one cannot help but wonder if WoW.tv’s days are numbered. The Ustream infomercial-as-shopping network is no longer being carried on several cable systems, including Time Warner, FiOS or Dish. A look at wowtv’s website reveals that they are only on DirectTV.

WHAT can we attribute this pull back in spending to? Might it be a result of the losses incurred by SWI’s unsuccessful litigation attempting to take the trademark “Swiss Made” away from the
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry?

OR might it be the result of the new owners of SWI, Clearlake Capital Group. There has been some speculation that the sale was necessary because of the fight with the Swiss Federation but with this new infusion of capital (and new board members) it may just be nothing more than a change in direction. It could be possible that the cost to included the programming on the cable networks is far more than the actual returns. Couple that with the salaries of the hosts and you have to wonder how much ROI there is even if it is streamed exclusively via the Internet.

In any event, what once seemed a potential challenge to ShopNBC watch sales now looks to be little more than a vanity, basement Internet show.

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HERE’S an interesting development in the world of TV Horology: Swiss Watch International has apparently lost the use of the word Swiss in both the name Swiss Watch International and Swiss Legend.

I stumbled on a legal decision dated January 30th of this year while researching another possible blog topic and started reading through the court records in the case, Swiss Watch International Inc. V. Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, T.T.A.B., No. 92046786, 1/30/12

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office was the culmination of an action that began in 2006 when the USPTO did not grant Swiss Watch International trademarks for either their name or house brand, Swiss Legend on the grounds that the “Swiss” would create confusion with the Federation’s marks “Swiss” and “Swiss made”.

SWI then attempted to have the “Swiss” and “Swiss Made” marks cancelled in the US on the grounds that the names had become generic in the US because the Federation did not control their use and so they were no longer entitled to protection.

But the USPTO dismissed this case and ruled that the certification marks are not generic, despite the unauthorized use of these trademarks by other parties. They cited the Federation’s worldwide monitoring and enforcement system as well as the actions they have taken against third parties that have infringed on these trademarks, as well as the American public’s recognition that the certification marks ‘Swiss’ and ‘Swiss Made’ identify the origin of a timepieces manufacture as Swiss.

Swiss Watch International has already registered a new Legend logo and trademark and I couldn’t find anything pertaining to the parent company’s name.

What strikes me is the argument; that the trademarks are “generic” in the US because third parties have used them without penalty. Might this weak argument be a finger pointed at Invicta for such memorable missteps as the Swina Gate Fiasco and the great The Great DD Debacle? There’s no way to tell because the exhibits used to make their case are either redacted or confidential.

As expected, the company currently known as SWI has filed an appeal so it will probably be awhile until we see how this case ends.

EVEN though Jim Skelton has been reduced to “hosting” a Ustream show, he still feels the need to lash out at Tim Temple. Posted on Watchgeeks was a thread entitled Presentation Skills Advice for All TV Hosts wherein the poster questions the behavior of TV presenters that fawn all over the product as disingenuous.

Moby Dickweed surfaces to add his two cents to the discussion. And what he states is revealing on several levels:

You can ask Michael.. I kiss no one’s butt, and I’ll be brutally honest about the products that I am asked to sell. If I lose the inter-office battle to air an item (again.. I no longer have to battle about this these days), I have been known to even go as far as to mock the product on the show. Of course that is an EXTREME case (remember the faux chrono?? Remember when they tried to slip one single Stauer into my show???).

Skelton seems to be stating that he was trying to exercise more control over what product aired. This was reportedly the same mistake that Temple supposedly made which ultimately led to his dismissal. This would seemingly contradict Skelton’s initial statements that the breakup was mutual – something that anyone with a brain in their head knows was not true. But one has to wonder if his behavior on WG and taking of fights to the SNBC airwaves; his alleged misuse of personal information and his other on air antics and statements didn’t lea to his demise. Maybe it all came down to arguing over product.

His next statement of “have(ing) been known to even go as far as to mock the product on the show” probably didn’t put him in the good graces of management. It also seems to suggest that if he was bold enough to “mock the product” that when news of Temple’s return to SNBC became public that his erratic behavior that I detailed and was attacked for was surely his “mocking” of the network brass.

I am also surprised that Michael Davis would allow Skelton to dismiss Stauer considering Invicta shares airtime with the brand. It’s funny, I don’t disagree that Stauer is a real stretch, yet Skelton ignoring the fact that he was there to sell seem to be what got him tossed out. Temple gets it and that’s why he has his job back.

And it’s why Skelton is on Ustream.

WatchGeek: The Brand

April 7, 2011

IT’S always fun to poke around the corners of the Internet, finding public information and bring it to light. Take Hollywood Florida based Invicta Watch Group. They tried to claim that the ‘brand’ Imperious wasn’t theirs; that they were only financing it. That’s until the Imperious trademark was revealed to be owned by Invicta from a public record source, at which point they tried to change the story and claim that they always claimed to have owned it. Shades of the much discussed Russian Diver.

Well I’ve turned up a few interesting trademark tidbits. Just two days after the original Watchgeek owner group announced the sale of the site to Invicta for undisclosed terms, IWG was busy trademarking “WatchGeeks” as both an “On-line forum for watch collectors” and as a line of “metal key chains; metal key rings”. It’s not a stretch to conclude that a line of t-shirts, sweat shirts and hats will surely follow.

What will this mean for the Ohio creator of the “Watch Geek Parking Only” signs on eBay? Can he expect a cease and desist?

ALSO of note was the application for the trademark “T.S.E.” back in October of 2010 for “Clocks and watches; Parts for watches; Watch bands and straps; Watch movements” and this begs the obvious question – is Invicta going to create a parts sourcing arm to rectify the ongoing customer complaints of poor service, lack of parts availability and turn around times that can stretch to several months for the smallest of repairs? Or will this new trademark bring more murkily sourced bands and accessories to the brand whose trademarked “Technica Swiss Ebauches” watch movements are actually assemble in Korea from Chinese Sea-Gull movements?

On February 19th I am launching my own WorldofWatches.TV shopping show, it will be broadcasting live every Saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 9pm Eastern Time on Direct TV channel 227. I hope you and your friends and family will watch me.

Thanks,

Lior Ben-Shmuel
President & CEO
The SWI Group

BETTERSKILLS can confirm that Swiss Watch International is indeed launching it’s own televised watch program as well as a streaming version on the Internet.

THIS move comes on the heals of the FCC approval of the NBC Universal/Comcast merger and weeks after a proposed ShopNBC stock offerings. One wonders how this new televised shopping outlet affect Invicta and the distant third home shopping network sales. World of Watches is the premier “Deal of the Day” site and moves quite a few high end brands, like Wyler, as well as their own house brands, like Swiss Legend, Jaques Lemans and Triumph. WoW routinely moves quite a bit of Invicta merchandise typically way below ShopNBC pricing on even current Shop stock.

IT’S no secret that a lot of people are tired of the constant Invicta cavalcade on ShopNBC which is starting to look as ridiculous as the “Shopping Is A Feeling ” scene in the movie True Stories.

I’d long thought that this would be an Invicta move. Looks like SWI flanked them.