Monday, September 14, 2020

The Verdict Is In...

And David has won!

Or in this case, R.T. Custer and Vortic Watch Company.

After five long years, Vortic has emerged the winner in the case that was brought by Hamilton (you know, that tiny little micro brand owned by SWATCH Group). Long story short, Hamilton asserted that Vortic was guilty of (in all honesty) a laundry list of things that in the end were not proven in the eyes of the court. 

And if nothing else? For this small outlet we are always happy to see right triumph over might ; )

Here is the release, straight from Vortic -

Vortic Watch Company Wins Landmark Lawsuit Against Swatch Group Brand, Hamilton

U.S. Federal Judge’s ruling sets precedent for the entire upcycling industry.

Fort Collins, CO (September 14, 2020) — Vortic Watch Company announces victory in a trademark case filed against the company by Hamilton Watch International, a Swatch Group brand. In a decision made by the U.S. Federal Court on September 11, 2020, the judge ruled in favor of Vortic on all counts. After a five-year battle, Federal Judge Alison Nathan determined Vortic has the right to salvage and restore antique pocket watches and turn them into wristwatches, including those that bear the Hamilton trademark.

“I always knew what we did was not wrong and did not violate trademark law.  What we do celebrates and preserves these wonderful antique watches,” says R.T. Custer, co-founder of Vortic. “I’m so thankful the U.S. justice system validated that and protected our American Dream.”

The Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate which oversees the once-American Hamilton brand, accused Vortic of trademark infringement and counterfeiting in 2015. The case finally culminated in February 2020 with a bench trial in the Southern District of New York.

“We’re happy with the precedent that’s been set in this historic case,” says Vortic’s attorney, Robert Lantz. “We demonstrated that the business model of upcycling antique pocket watches into wristwatches is fair and legal. Moreover, the Court’s ruling protects thousands of American small businesses that preserve history, and enhance or find new uses for antique products.”

Vortic successfully presented its efforts to avoid any consumer confusion in advertisements by describing its watches as works of art – “a museum on the wrist.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of both my team and the Justice System.” says Custer. “We won one for the little guys today.  This was truly a David vs. Goliath case.”

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