FASHION LAW: CHANEL SUES THE DIAMOND DISTRICT
Esteemed French fashion house, Chanel, Inc., filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, against New Diamond District, Inc. for trademark and counterfeiting, dilution, false advertisement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. The New Diamond District boasted on having an extensive selection of Chanel dials, and proposed “100% authenticity” upon each watch. In actuality, Chanel had never sold watch parts to any businesses, especially defendants, unless specific parts are used to repair services.
Chanel is suing New Diamond District for modifying and altering watches without their consent. The alterations now include “bedazzled” faces for the dials – with diamonds or other gemstones – added to the bezels, all the while passing them off as authentic styles sold by Chanel itself. Chanel is also suing for statutory dames of up to $2 Million per counterfeit distributed by defendants, unlawful use over its trademark, and infringing upon their fixed J12-style dials.
The design-tampering ultimately harms Chanel’s reputation causing confusion that the brand has authorized the alterations internally. Chanel is seeking an injunctive relief to prevent all sales, infringing products, and to prevent the use of Chanel’s trademarks. Chanel has been selling dials since 1987; the J12 watch line has been registered since 2002 as a Chanel trademark – this includes watches and timepieces. The New Diamond District carry themselves as “the high supply of Chanel dials and brand new high quality timepieces” through their eBay store and storefront in Manhattan’s Diamond District on West 47th Street.
With all these deceptive trade practices outside of Chanel, the New Diamond District is under violation of theft as the counterfeit watches bear Chanel’s infamous mark and the “authentic” Chanel J12 watch brand when clearly they’re all substitutes.
View case details here: Chanel, Inc. v. New Diamond District Inc.