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Rolex tells tiny children’s wall clock maker Oyster&Pop to change its name

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Spot the difference: Oyster&Pop's children's wall clock used to teach telling the time and Rolex's Oyster Perpetual.

Rolex has every right to protect its intellectual property and the equity in its brand.

The watchmaker, which is likely to have notched up sales of CHF 10 billion in 2022, is comfortably the most recognised and respected brand in the world; not just in watches, but across every sector.

No amount of negative publicity over soaring waiting lists, exhibition-only watch displays and a rigged secondary market for its timepieces had dented demand for The Crown.

To rule the world, you have to stamp out minor incursions in every corner of your empire, and a small business run by two sisters in Devon has become the latest to invite the wrath of Rolex’s generals/lawyers.

Oyster&Pop was set up during the pandemic by sisters Emma Ross-McNairn and Sarah Davies.

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They pooled their savings to launch a kids learning clock in 2021 and quickly became a bestseller in both the UK and the USA.

Rolex oyster pop sisters
Oyster&Pop was set up during the pandemic by sisters Emma Ross-McNairn and Sarah Davies.

The wall clocks are use bright primary colours, descriptions and numbers in a way that excites children and helps them to learn how to tell the time, an important skill that Rolex might benefit from down the line.

But Rolex lawyers sent a letter to the Oster&Pop sisters warning that, “Consumers will inevitably be misled into thinking that your products emanate from Rolex”, and demanding that the business change its logo, website domain and name to avoid further action.

While the sisters consider whether to concede to Rolex’s demands, they have set up an online petition which lays out their case and potential defense.

“We sell colourful kids learning clocks and a small range of other learning/office products with prices ranging from approx $10-$25. Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual men’s and women’s luxury watches are marketed as exclusive, high-end timepieces with prices ranging from approx $6,500-$75,000. “We believe that there is NO RISK of anyone confusing us,” they write.

“Is it fair for Rolex to stop us from using the word Oyster?” they ask.

The dispute may end up in court, but could be settled by Britain’s Intellectual Property Office, which is considering a trademark application for Oyster&Pop.

It is this application that is being challenged by Rolex.

As of today, the online petition in support of Oyster&Pop has been signed by over 70,000 people and generated hundreds of comments of support for the sisters.

The Oyster&Pop is said to have been chosen for the children’s clocks because the sisters were born and raised on a road called Oyster Bend in Paignton, Devon, and they wanted to connect the company’s identity to their family roots.

Rolex has been asked for comment.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Next thing you know, Rolex will be shaking down hot dog carts for day old wienies because their limp and useless condition might mislead consumers to believe they are a metaphor for the bored old men in the Rolex C-suite, who might better focus their energies on getting their brand activities optimized instead of hassling small-fish entrepreneurs. As if anyone would confuse Oyster & Pop with Rolex. Get your heads out of your arses.

  2. Rolex need to take a look at themselves , these girls are of no threat what so ever to rolex … do they own the word oyster , I imagine not

  3. These women were denied a US Trademark in *2020* because of Rolex’s trademark so this is no surprise to them. They know that they’re doing. Quite a publicity stunt.

  4. For a company that’s all about name yeah that’s seems right on ….. Seiko has better movements and better accuracy watches all around they are just a old company that sells average stuff for high prices … On the other hand I totally understand people might confuse the crap that is Rolex with a children watch …

  5. “Rolex has every right to protect its intellectual property and the equity in its brand” is what this imbecile actually said. This guy has this overpriced, overrated watch brand so far down his throat he can’t even think clearly.

  6. Well this is exciting and interesting for litigation. If this goes through .. We must expect rolex to go after Londons oyster card as well ….

  7. The vererable Rolex has like many high fashion brands has been turnd into a marketing scam.
    Smoke & mirrors ?
    Fine, but leave the little guys alone.
    ( observation as a watch collector )

  8. Rolex have to challenge it. It’s a peculiar quirk of trademark law that if you let an application like that go unchallenged, a second company would have a strong case to create an “oyster watch”, stating that the trademark isn’t being enforced.

    I’m fairly sure they don’t actually feel threatened by a kids’ clock.

  9. Seiko are better timepieces than rolex and to think that rolex is threatened by a company using the name oyster which they don’t own the rights for is just ridiculous

  10. There is a fountain pen company who were called Mentmore, they wanted to change their name to Platinum but they were not allowed to as it was something, a metal, that already existed, so they changed their name to Platignum. How can Rolex own the word Oyster? And if they can use it why shouldn’t anyone else? As long as not combined with other wording that Rolex use?

  11. Rolex have an unfortunate arrogance, they weren’t always like that… however, that arrogance has driven me away from the brand to Omega and I won’t ever be back. Rolex will, one day, realise that it can’t do as it wishes and that day will be when supply, outstrips demand.

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