The way Matt Khatib sees it, he is just paying tribute to a relative.
But renowned jeweler Harry Winston feels quite differently, claiming that Khatib’s Newburyport, Mass.–based jewelry store, M.K. Winston, is infringing on its 80-year-old trademark.
In papers filed Aug. 2 in Massachusetts federal court, Harry Winston called the “W” in Khatib’s store logo “very similar” to the logo used by Winston. Last December, Harry Winston’s attorneys wrote Khatib, demanding he change his store name. According to court papers, he declined.
The suit charges trademark infringement, competition, and trademark dilution.
Khatib tells JCK that his store’s name has nothing to do with the famed retailer.
“We chose the name M.K. Winston—in which we never separate the M.K. from the Winston—as a representation of my initials M.K. and my wife’s grandfather, a World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Winston K. Sherman,” he says. “No one has ever mistaken us for Harry Winston Inc.”
“We realize that litigation can be extremely costly and financially we are capable of pursuing this matter,” he continues. “However, rather than paying hefty lawyer fees with no obvious benefit to society, we may change the store name and instead donate a large sum of money to a local charity—as we feel this will be a far more impactful use of our funds.”
Harry Winston declined comment to JCK.