Franck Muller Wins More Bans Against Gray Market

Franck Muller USA, exclusive importer and distributor of the Swiss luxury watch in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, has won more federal court rulings permanently barring companies from “importing, selling, or otherwise distributing” watches with the Franck Muller trademark. The new bans were issued by Judge Richard Berman in late October and early November.

The October order bars Avianne Watches, a New York City watchmaker and dealer, from importing, distributing, and selling its Avianne’s Victorian Collection, which closely resembled Franck Muller watches, in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Avianne complied and told FMUSA it has destroyed its inventory of the watches. A second order bars Avianne from trading in gray market Franck Muller watches. Gray market refers to watches sold by suppliers or dealers without the authorization of the owner of the trademark.

The second set of rulings, issued in early November, names other New York City watch dealers and their owners, identified in court documents as International Watch Exchange Inc., Motion in Time, and VIS Jewelers. All are barred by the court from “importing, selling, or otherwise distributing” any watch with the Franck Muller trademark in those areas.

Michael C. Miller, FMUSA’s attorney, said that while the company targets gray market traffickers wherever they are, most of the recent defendants are located in Manhattan’s Diamond District. “FMUSA will continue to focus on New York’s Diamond District and take whatever lawful measures are available to shut down the operations of all gray market traffickers who put these watches into circulation,” Miller said.

In September the company won a federal court ruling against several other companies.