Court Rules for Franck Muller in Its ‘Gray Market’ Suit

Franck Muller USA, exclusive importer and distributor of the Swiss luxury watch in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, has won a federal court ruling permanently barring several companies from “importing, selling, or otherwise distributing” any watch with the Franck Muller trademark in those areas.

The judgment was issued Sept. 20 in New York City by judge Richard Berman against defendants identified in the ruling as Delmas Inc. (New York City) and Stoneleigh Enterprises Inc. (London), both owned by Joshua Rogoznitsky and Yehouda Frand (also known as Larry Frand), Delmas manager.

The watch company had alleged the defendants engaged in trademark infringement and unfair competition by importing and distributing Franck Muller watches without authorization.

In a related story, Franck Muller USA revealed that it got a court-approved retraction in June from companies identified in the ruling as Terry Alison, Montres Allison, and Ma Luxury Timepiece, all located near Denver. They allegedly issued a press release that falsely asserted that Franck Muller watches were made from components from Russia and the Middle East and that the Swiss watch industry has ties to terrorism. In the ruling, the defendants acknowledged they had no firsthand knowledge to support the claims, did no research to verify the claims, and had issued the press release to advance the marketing of its own watch line. FMUSA had contended the statements were defamatory and violated federal law.