August 7th, 2008 | Dina
Cartier Suing DKNY for Trademark Violation for its Tank Watches
According to Bloomberg, Donna Karan, owned by French luxury- goods firm LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, was sued by French jeweler Cartier over claims it violated a trademark for the “Tank” line of watches by selling pieces under that name.
Donna Karan is making “reasonably prudent consumers” believe that some of the fashion house’s watches are affiliated with Cartier, according to an complaint filed today in federal court in New York, where the LVMH unit is based.
“It is apparent that defendant’s use of the Cartier `Tank’ trademark in connection with watches is willful and intentional and done in willful disregard of Cartier’s rights,” the jewelry maker said in the infringement complaint.
Cartier created the line of watches in 1917, inspired by military tanks used in World War I, according to its Web site. The company, founded in Paris and now a unit of Geneva-based Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, holds U.S. trademarks that ensure its exclusive use of the word `Tank’ for watches, eyeglasses and jewelry, according to the complaint.
Donna Karan triggered an earlier dispute over the same trademark by selling watches under the `Tank’ name in 2001, according to the complaint. Donna Karan stopped usingthe term the following year after Cartier objected, the jewelry maker said.
Louis Cartier, who founded the company, created the first women’s wristwatch in 1888 and the first wristwatch with a leather strap in 1904, according to the complaint. The company opened a store on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1917.
Donna Karan, the namesake label of its New York-based founder, was acquired by LVMH in 2001 for $243 million. A call to the company’s New York headquarters wasn’t immediately returned.
Cartier seeks unspecified money damages and a court order forcing Donna Karan to destroy the allegedly infringing merchandise.
The case is Cartier v. Donna Karan International Inc., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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Topics: Accessories, Designer spotlight, Fashion Scoops, Faux Pas, Radar
Tags: bloomberg, Cartier, DKNY, Donna Karan, eric larson, jewellery, jewelry, lawsuit, Louis Vuitton, lvmh moet hennessy louis vuitton sa, tank watches