Cartier, Van Cleef Win $37 Million Counterfeit Judgment

On Sept. 2, Richemont subsidiaries Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels won a $37.4 million default judgment against New York manufacturer Concept Designs Unlimited for allegedly producing counterfeit watches bearing the names of those brands.

According to the judgment, issued by the United States District Court, Central District of New Jersey, Concept Designs never answered an amended complaint filed in May 2011 by Richemont, which charged the company with trademark infringement, counterfeiting, unfair competition, and false advertising.

In an answer to the original complaints, filed in March 2010, Zura Kazhiloti, described by Richemont as CDU’s “sole owner,” denied the charges and invoked his rights against self-incrimination. 

The judgment calls for CDU to pay Cartier and Van Cleef $37 million in statutory damages, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. The company was also ordered to recall any products that bear the contested marks. 

Kazhiloti’s attorney declined comment, except to note the judgment was not against Kazhiloti. 

The original complaint also targeted Daniel Markus Jewelers, based in Newark, N.J. Richemont charges the jeweler with selling counterfeits over its website and on eBay. 

While not admitting the company sold any counterfeits, Daniel Markus alleges in a cross-claim that Concept Designs made “false, intentional, and material misrepresentations” about the authenticity of its products.

On Sept. 9, Richemont subsidiary Panerai also won a consent judgment against 47th Street retailer Jem Watch, which it alleged sold used and damaged Panerai watches as new.

The judgment, issued by the U.S. District Court, Central District of New York, calls for Jem Watch to pay Richemont $15,000, and says that, if the company continues to sell Richemont products, it must include signage that it is not an authorized dealer of those watches.

Jem’s lawyer did not return a request for comment.

JCK News Director