Watch brands go to war over digital pirate faces

FaceRepo.jpg

Watch companies have launched a legal campaign to stop ‘homebrew’ software developers offering digital versions of their famous watch faces for use on smartwatches.

According to website TorrentFreak, Android Wear devices such as Motorola’s MOTO 360, are proving popular with online developers for their ability to display custom watch face designs.

Now ‘pirate faces’, downloadable watch dials illegally representing the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega, are appearing online, often for free, breaching the trademarks of a multitude of watch brands.

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WatchPro predicted that custom watch faces representing brands on smartwatches would become the norm, but believed it would be the brands themselves taking the initiative rather than third parties acting illegally.

TorrentFreak reports that IWC, Panerai, Omega, Fossil, Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot, Certina, Swatch, Flik Flak and Mondaine are sending cease and desist notices to sites and individuals thought to be offering faces without permission.

Richemont also made the news for protecting its Intellectual Property recently when it secured a High Court ruling against Britain’s biggest internet service providers; demanding access to websites selling counterfeit watches that breach Richemont’s trademarks be blocked in the UK.

One such site offering downloadable smartwatch faces, FaceRepo, today appeared to have compiled with such notices and removed faces featuring the branding of the companies already, however watch faces with Braun, Citizen, Boss, Seiko, Casio, Audemars Piguet, Eberhard & Co, Ferrari, Festina, Hublot, Hamilton, Timex, Bell & Ross and Bremont branding among others remained available to download.

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