Replica Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation

Relying on Supreme Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Ninth Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of Costco, holding that “first sale” doctrine protects Costco from infringement claims arising from Costco reselling in the U.S. watches that were initially sold abroad bearing a copyrighted design. Plaintiff Omega S.A. is a manufacturer of luxury replica watches, which it sells through authorized distributors and retailers in various markets around the world. One of its high-end watches is the Seamaster, on which the company engraves a small, copyrighted Omega Globe Design. Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation is not an authorized retailer of Omega replica watches, but in 2004 Costco acquired Seamaster watches bearing the Globe Design on the “gray market,” from third parties that acquired the watches through Omega’s authorized foreign distributors. Costco later resold those watches in the United States.

Omega sued Costco for copyright infringement, alleging that Costco violated Section 602 of the Copyright Act by importing Omega’s copyrighted work (the Globe Design), without Omega’s permission. In an earlier decision, the district court granted summary judgment to Costco based on the “first sale” doctrine, holding that once Fake Omega first sold the copyrighted works abroad, it could not claim infringement based on the importation and distribution of those works in the U.S. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision, finding that the first sale doctrine does not apply to copyrighted works manufactured abroad. An equally divided Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. On remand, the district court once again granted summary judgment to Costco—this time finding that Omega Replica had misused its copyright in the Globe Design to control the importation of Omega replica watches sold overseas. Although Omega owned a copyright in the Globe Design, Omega’s watches are “useful articles” and are not otherwise entitled to copyright protection. Omega’s use of the Globe Design to control distribution of its watches constituted misuse of copyright to expand Omega’s limited monopoly over the Globe Design to its uncopyrightable watches. Omega again appealed the district court’s decision.

After the district court’s ruling, but before the Ninth Circuit ruled on the case, the Supreme Court decided Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in which the Court held that the first sale doctrine applied to copyrighted works manufactured abroad. The Ninth Circuit applied Kirtsaeng in holding that Omega was barred under the first sale doctrine from pursuing its copyright infringement claim against Costco, and on that basis, it affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Costco. In a lengthy concurring decision, Judge Wardlaw noted that the first sale doctrine had not been argued or decided below. Rather than affirming on that basis, Judge Wardlaw would have affirmed the district court’s decision based on Omega’s misuse of the Globe Design to obtain a copyright-like monopoly over its uncopyrightable watches.

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Keeping Swiss time

kenya

The hot topic at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, luxury watch fair last week in Switzerland was the sudden and unexpected move by the Swiss National Bank to scrap a currency exchange cap it had put in place against the euro. The announcement caused the Swiss franc to surge as much as 39 percent against the euro and the greenback – suggesting a substantial price hike in the exports of Swiss replica watches to follow.

Prior to SIHH, there was already speculation that prices would go up by around 20 percent. Many exhibitors were reluctant to disclose how much the watches will be sold for, but some have hinted that there will be a mid-single- digit price hike. A source in marketing and retail expected the jolt in currency to have a small impact.

“Past experience tells us that the effect on watches over HK$1 million was miniscule. The sale of HK$100,000 watches was also stable,” the source said. “Many of the brands will continue to rely on their top-of-the-line timepieces as major revenue. And to those below the HK$100,000 price point, the market should be able to slowly absorb the volume.”

But there appeared to be fewer watches released this year compared to the past two years. There was no special edition made to cater the Asian market. In this first of a three-part series, we look at the new watches released by five exhibitors that have caught our attention.

Breitling Replica Bering Merger Named a 2014 Deal of the Year

DALLAS — Breitling Replica Energy Corporation (OTCBB: BECC) has been named as a 2014 Deal of the Year by Acquisition International for its merger with Bering Exploration Inc. After 18 months of intense negotiations, the two companies entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement where Bering issued 461.9 million shares of stock to Breitling in exchange for all of the oil and gas working interests of the former Breitling Oil and Gas. In completion of the reverse merger, the Bering board resigned and was replaced with the Breitling board; similarly the Bering management team resigned and was replaced with the Breitling management team. The headquarters was relocated to Dallas, Texas. The new company emerged as Breitling Energy Corporation, trading under the stock symbol BECC on the over the counter bulletin board exchange.

“This saved our shareholders a substantial mount of money compared to the conventional public underwriting process. We knew of Bering and knew they no longer wanted to continue as a public company, and we wanted access to capital markets, so this deal was a natural fit,” said Chris Faulkner, Breitling Energy’s CEO and chief architect of the merger. “This would be far more difficult to orchestrate in today’s oil price environment. One of the biggest hurdles was ascribing proper valuation to our hundreds of working interests. Timing is everything because today’s prices probably wouldn’t facilitate such a deal,” Faulkner added.

The merger allowed Breitling to capitalize its assets, converting the company from exclusively non-operating interests to growth through the drill bit, increasing its PV10 valuation and to use its currency to acquire additional acreage and pursue other valuations. “These are challenging times and I built my career on good challenges,” Faulkner said. “We have a solid plan for the future, and we are carefully adjusting and executing according to these times. I’m very optimistic for the future of Breitling Energy and proud to have been recognized for this strategic merger.”

ABOUT BREITLING ENERGY CORPORATION

Breitling Energy Corporation is a growing U.S. energy company based in Dallas, Texas engaged in the exploration and development of high-probability, lower risk onshore oil and gas properties. The Company’s dual-focused growth strategy primarily relies on leveraging management’s technical and operations expertise to grow through the drill-bit, while also growing its base of non-operating working interests and royalty interests. Breitling Energy’s oil and gas operations are focused primarily in the Permian Basin of Texas and the Mississippi oil window of southern Kansas and Northern Oklahoma, with non-operating investments in Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Breitling Energy Corporation is traded over the counter under the ticker symbol: BECC. Additional information is available at www.topreplicaswatches.me.uk.

Man buys rolex replica watch from Goodwill for $5.99, sells it for $35,000

Zach-Norris

Earlier this month, Zachary Norris was scouring a Phoenix Goodwill for a used push golf cart when he spotted a collection of old watches. Among them was a watch with a dial that read “Le Coultre Deep Sea Alarm.”

Norris, a vintage replica watch collector, knew the watch had to be worth significantly more than the $5.99 price tag, so he purchased it and immediately brought it to an authorized Jaeger-LeCoultre retailer in Scottsdale, Ariz..

Sure enough, the watch was an extremely valuable one: It was a rare 1959 LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm, one of the brand’s most desired design — less than 1,000 were made for the American market — and one of the first watches to feature an alarm for divers.

Armed with this information, Norris posted his watched on a “Vintage Replica Watches” Facebook page, where offers started pouring in from collectors around the world.

Norris eventually accepted an irresistible offer from Rolex dealer and collector Eric Ku, who offered Norris $35,000 for the watch, and threw in Norris’ dream watch, an Omega Speedster Professional, to sweeten the deal.

Not bad for a $5.99 watch. Norris delivered the watch to Ku in person last Wednesday. Norris told Hodinkee that he has since given a donation to Goodwill, but insists on keeping the amount private.

Costco wins approval to sell discounted Swiss replica watches

In a blow for the luxury replica watch and jewellery industry, a court ruling has declared retail chain Costco can legally sell Swiss watches at a heavily discounted price, despite not being an authorised distributor. The decision is the latest in a long-held court battle between Costco – the global warehouse retail giant – and Omega, a subsidiary of the Swatch Group.

In 2004, Costco purchased 117 Omega Seamaster replica watches from a non-US, authorised distributor and began selling them for US$600 (AU$758) less than the Swiss watchmaker’s recommended retail price. The two parties had failed to reach an agreement one year earlier when Costco sought permission to carry the watches as an authorised dealer. As a result, Costco turned to the grey market to source the products. The grey market refers to the trade of genuine brand-name products typically manufactured abroad, purchased and imported by third parties. While legal, the distribution is generally unauthorised by the original manufacturer.

In response to mounting complaints from authorised Omega retailers, Swatch began making inconspicuous engravings of its copyrighted globe design on the underside of the Seamaster watches. The Swiss giant subsequently took legal action against Costco in July 2004 for copyright infringement after the retail chain sold 43 of the engraved watches to its customers.

Cannot claim infringement

In 2007, a court initially ruled in favour of Costco stating that the first sale doctrine – which stipulates that a copyright owner cannot claim infringement for distribution of copies of copyrighted work after consenting to the initial sale – was a “complete defence to Omega’s claims”. However, the judgement was reversed in 2008 on the basis that the doctrine did not apply to products that had been manufactured overseas and imported into the US without the copyright owner’s permission.

The latest episode means Costco has come out on top with a three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals reaffirming the original court decision on the basis that Omega had misused its copyright of the globe design by “leveraging its limited monopoly over the design to control the importation and sale of Seamaster watches”. “Omega’s anticompetitive acts promoted neither the broad public availability of the arts nor the public welfare. Instead, they eliminated price competition in the retail market for Fake Omega watches and deprived consumers of the opportunity to purchase discounted grey market Omega replica watches from Costco,” circuit judge Kim McLane Wardlaw explained. “Omega misused its copyright by engraving the globe design on the underside of its watches, and attempting to use copyright law to eliminate intrabrand competition from Costco in the retail watch market.”

While the legal case concerns trading in the US, the decision might also have future implications in Australia, given the local arm of Costco sells high-profile watch brands. Jeweller approached the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a local perspective on the matter, but a spokesperson declined to comment. At the time of publication, Costco operated seven stores in Australia and had recently entered the retail petrol market.

Costco vs watch and jewellery industry

This is not the first time that Costco has come under fire from the luxury replica watch and jewellery industry. As previously reported by Jeweller, the retail chain is currently embroiled in another legal battle with Tiffany & Co over the use of the term “tiffany setting” to describe a range of its engagement rings. The iconic jeweller filed a lawsuit against Costco in February 2013 claiming the retail giant was falsely selling Tiffany-branded rings, however, Costco responded with a counterclaim stating that “tiffany setting” was a generic industry term.

Costco moved to have the counterclaim dismissed but a US federal court found there was a “genuine factual dispute” over the use of the term in January last year, allowing Costco to proceed. At the time of publication, the dispute had yet to go to trial.

Medawar heist planned for Rolex replica watches the target

zackary

KENT COUNTY, MI – One of the suspects in last week’s alleged smash-and-grab at Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry told police that he and others had spent a week planning the heist. They drove from East Lansing to the Grand Rapids area, set up getaway vehicles at a nearby apartment complex and then stole another car to commit the crime, according to an arrest affidavit filed Monday, Jan. 26.

Zachary Ian Cender, 18, Darnell Kenneth-Maurice Brown, 23, and others entered the store, at 4518 Plainfield Ave. NE, around noon, armed with hammers. Charles Milton Fortune, 22, waited outside in the stolen getaway car, police said in court records. Thieves targeted the Rolex replica watches. Records did not say if anything was stolen. “They smashed the glass case that the fake watches were stored in,” a Kent County sheriff’s detective wrote in the affidavit. “Zachary Cender states that they were involved in planning this for approximately a week,” the detective wrote.

Police did not describe the extent of planning that went into the theft, but it surely did not include an Internet search of Paul Medawar’s history dealing with robbers. The owner and his son obtained firearms training after a 2010 robbery, and thwarted another last spring by shooting one of the suspects. In Friday’s theft, a Medawar worker fired a single shot that sent thieves rushing for the door. No one was injured.

Cender, Fortune and Brown are jailed on $100,000 bonds after their arraignments Monday, Jan. 26, in Kent County District Court. They were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree retail fraud, a potential five-year felony. The arrest affidavit did not say that workers were threatened, which could have resulted in more serious charges. Police are seeking two others who got into another getaway vehicle, a silver Dodge Durango. The three who were captured were in a Chevrolet Impala that was spotted on eastbound I-96 by Kent County sheriff’s Sgt. Bryan Muir as he responded to the robbery call. Police stopped the car near M-6.

Best reissues comes from the golden age of replica watches making

Mechanical replica watches even at the peak of the quartz boom remained timeless and fashion, while continuing to recruit adherents among those who appreciate the craftsmanship of Swiss jeweler and not only replica watches makers. Even now, when smartvotchi trying to win a place in the history of wrist accessories manufactory only laugh, hinting that any model design 50s look stylish this piece of plastic on your hand. We have no reason not to believe them, so we found 9 models of fake watches directly from the Golden Age “mechanics”, reprinted in recent years.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1948. In this model, created by 17 year of the manufactory and reissued in our time, everything remains unchanged – and the rotary body on the hinge, and the ideal form flyweights, and the inscription Fabrique en Suisse under the brand imenenm in the position of “12 hours”. Is that the dimensions slightly increased, and inscriptions become clearer through the use of new colors.

Surgery shouldn’t have been named

A GP whose surgery in Liverpool has been put under special measures has said the health regulator should not have publicly named the practice. Dr Srinivas Rao Dharmana, 43, who is still not fully back at work after being stabbed and run over outside his surgery in Walton by masked robbers, believes that it does not show the pressures faced by the practice. He said: “I do not mind them saying the service was not up to scratch but to put it in the public domain only seems to scare the public, not help them. “They should put what the circumstances are and put it in context so that people can understand what is going on.”

Dr Dharmana, who is currently carrying out an administrative role while he recovers, added: “I do not mind what the CQC said but I think maybe it should have been brought to the public domain in six months time.” Dr Dharmana is treating the six-month special measures period as a chance to try to get the situation back on track. It is a warning that improvements must be made or there could be a possible review of registration or, ultimately, a call for the practice to be shut down. Inspectors rated the practice as being inadequate for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Dr Dharmana was stabbed twice after a group of five people approached him as he closed the GP practice in Queens Drive, Walton, in January 2013.

He had his Rolex replica watch and black Audi TT car stolen before the car was driven in to him. Dr Dharmana was treated in hospital for a cut to his face. He said when he was stabbed in the abdomen, the knife did not cut through his thick coat. He described it as “quite a traumatic injury” and has had to take time off since November 2013. With a month the locum practice manager became ill and was off sick and to make matters worse the surgery was robbed in September 2014, just a few weeks before its CQC inspection. Dr Dharmana recalled that “our doors were still being fixed” and the files being sorted. New staff were just going through their induction period, he recalled, saying that “everything bad just happened at the same time”.

He said: “The patients were quite reasonable and very understanding. We tried to provide what (services) we could in whatever the circumstance.” Dr Dharmana said: “I am not too worried about what could happen (at the end of the special measures). I have already taken all the help available from the local clinical commissioning group and NHS England. They have all been very helpful in my situation.”

He claimed that work is already “in place” to tackle “most of the issues” raised by the CQC. “I think that by the time they (the CQC) come back to check, it will be OK.” Asked if he had not thought of giving up his medical work after all his setbacks, Dr Dharmana said: “I have always wanted to be a doctor since I was aged eight years old. As a doctor you always want to help patients. It is part of life.” Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GP committee, is concerned about the way CQC singled out the surgeries that were rated as inadequate.

He said: “However, we remain concerned at the way the CQC continues to name and shame in public the small number of practices that the CQC deems to be having problems. While any issues with patient care must be immediately resolved, it is not helpful that the CQC continues to pursue an inspection regime that is flawed in many aspects. “For example, it is absurd that judgments are being made before physical inspections take place on a number of questionable indicators such as how many internal meetings a practice holds.”

Image shows 2 men suspected in jewelry heist

The Scottsdale Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify two men that may have been involved in the armed robbery of a jewelry store last Friday. Police on Thursday released an image of the men taken from surveillance at another Scottsdale jewelry store. Detectives want to interview them about what happened at Robert C. Wesley Jewelers at about 10:45 a.m. on Jan. 16.

That’s when two men in dark-colored hooded sweatshirts – one armed with a gun, one with a hammer – robbed Robert C. Wesley Jewelers near Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale., according to a police statement. The man with the gun pointed it at two employees in the store, forcing them to get on the ground, while the man with the hammer smashed open glass cases and removed jewelry, the statement said.

They fled the store with an undisclosed amount of jewelry, including Rolex replica watches, and drove southbound on Marshall Way in a dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu or Impala. Bob Wesley, owner of the store, told The Republic that the employees held at gunpoint were armed security guards who were forced to give up their weapons.

Authorities are asking anyone who may know the men in the image to contact the department at topreplicaswatches.me.uk.