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.

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Switzerland’s watch exports increased in August from the previous year, a report by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH showed on Tuesday.

Export value of Swiss watches surged 24.1% in August from the previous year, to attain a level of CHF 1.07 billion. At the same time, wrist watches exports grew 25.9%, while other products exports climbed 4%.

In the January to August period, watch exports increased 20.1% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Developments among the Swiss watch industry’s main markets were varied. Hong Kong recorded another very strong performance with 18.7% annual growth and the U.S. showed an increase of 9.8%. The value of sales to Singapore showed one of the strongest upward variations of all and exports to China grew by 7%.

Source: http://www.rttnews.com/Content/AllEconomicNews.aspx?Node=B2&Id=1424015