Franck Muller USA, the American branch of the innovative Swiss luxury watch brand, is seeking $60 million in damages, penalties, and other costs from seven companies it claims are “grey market” vendors of its luxury watches.
Muller filed suit June 1 in New York federal court against the seven New York City companies–six jewelers and a wholesaler–for allegedly selling “gray market” Franck Muller watches. Most are located on 47th Street. The companies couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.
(“Gray market goods” are genuine branded merchandise, usually intended for other markets than the Untied States, imported by an unauthorized importer and sold by unauthorized dealers, with the brand’s quality control, service, or warranty programs.)
The suit claims those named in the suit with unlawfully selling goods in violation of federal law, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. Franck Muller USA is seeking $25 million in damages, $25 million of the defendants’ profits, $10 million in punitive damages, attorneys fees, and other costs.
It also wants an injunction prohibiting future sales by the companies of gray market watches.
“Franck Muller is committed to fighting gray market imports,” said Hratch N. Kaprielian, president of Franck Muller USA, “and that includes preserving its reputation for importing and distributing genuine Franck Muller watches through authorized dealers who are able to ensure that consumer receive the benefit of its extensive service and warranty policies.”