Luxury goods group Richemont, owner of brands including Cartier, A. Lange & Sohne and Baume & Mercier, has won a trademark lawsuit in Russia after a company used the Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin brand names to sell clothing.
Dow Jones reported that retail clothing company Ritter Gentlemen was using trademarks belonging to Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin, using the luxury names to sell items of clothing including T-shirts and coats worth several hundred Euros.
Richemont filed a lawsuit against Ritter after it discovered names and logos were being used on clothes sold through about 25 retailers around Moscow.
The Russian Federal Supreme Court in Moscow ruled on Tuesday that Ritter could no longer use the brand names on its designs. Frederick Mostert, Richemont’s chief legal counsel, said the case was groundbreaking but would help protect the luxury company with a view to any future, similar cases.
" This means not only are trademarks are protected across borders, but also across classes of non-competing goods,” said Mostert.
"Ritter took a trademark which was almost identical, the script and the logo, and used it to ride on the coat-tails of Vacheron Constantin."
Richemont has said that Russian consumers “have a right” to be told about the correct origin of the goods they buy without being mislead.
"This was not about losing sales, it was about diluting the brand by reducing some of it exclusivity,” added Mostert.
“There was also a risk of tarnishing the brand, with goods of lower quality. Both can be fatal."