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Jaguar alleges Christopher Ward infringed its trademark with its D-Type watch

C9 D-Type

Christopher Ward has vowed to vigorously defend itself against legal action bought against it by Jaguar Land Rover.

The challenge by Jaguar relates to a limited edition watch that Christopher Ward sold from 2014 to 2016 called the C9 D-Type.

Jaguar D-Type is an iconic Jaguar sports car that won the Le Mans 24 hour race three times.

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The car maker alleges that the D-Type watches infringed its trademark and damaged the distinctive character of its brand.

A statement from Christopher Ward retorts: “We strongly reject the claims made against us and will be vigorously defending our position. There has been no infringement and we do not believe this matter should ever have reached court”.

Only 55 pieces of the Christopher Ward’s C9 D-Type were made and they do not have any Jaguar branding. However, the company’s literature for the watch says it has an “original D-Type speedometer inspired dial”.

The watch uses metal from the pistons of one of the D-Type factory production models that was melted down and laser-cut into the shape of the D-Type’s spinner, which is
visible through the watch’s exhibition backplate.

“The Jaguar D-Type represents one of the peaks of post-war British racing car design – a vehicle loved as much for is looks as its three triumphs at Le Mans. This is why
Christopher Ward is proud to present a stunning new watch, the C9 D-Type, that not only pays tribute to the car, but has a piece of metal from one of its pistons embedded
into it,” the watch’s brochure says.

Tags : christopher ward
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

1 Comment

  1. The first reaction may be to say that watches and cars are unrelated goods and services for the purposes of trademarks. And they may well be. But this raises a larger issue. The idea behind the trademarking system that does not grant an absolute monopoly over a certain word, phrase, or an image to a brand owner but grants a monopoly over the mental link between such word, phrase, or image AND specific products and services was to allow unrelated businesses to coexist under similar or even identical brands as long as the public was not confused into believing that such unrelated goods and services came from the same source. As we see today, many businesses are trying to take advantage of the system by launching products in completely new niches under well-known brands. Their argument is, well, we’re not doing anything remotely similar to what their trademark is registered for, so we should be free to do that. My take on this is that intent should be one of the main factors in determining whether the use of someone else’s brands for unrelated goods and services should be considered trademark infringement. If the goods and services are indeed unrelated, there should not be any reason for you to pay homage to the well-known brand, should there? So when the watch manufacturer in their catalog claims that the watch has an “original D-Type speedometer inspired dial,” it proves that the brand was not chosen by coincidence. My drawing the parallel between the brands, I believe the watch manufacturer should be considered to have lost the argument that the goods are not related. They BECOME related by virtue of you creating that mental link between your goods and services and those of someone else.

    Andrei Mincov

    Founder and CEO of Trademark Factory® / https://trademarkfactory.com, the only firm in the world that offers trademarking services with a predictable, guaranteed result, for a predictable, guaranteed budget. We can help you register your trademarks with a free comprehensive trademark search, for a single all-inclusive flat fee, with a 100% money-back guarantee.

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