California - Switzerland has been known for its stance on neutrality. However, high-end Swiss watchmaker Rolex proved that this is not always the case when it decided to go to war with a competitor over infringement of a trademark. And after a hard fought battle, this week it was announced that Rolex lost its trademark battle with luxury jewelry and watchmaker Rox.
Rox initially filed its application to trademark its distinctive Rox name in the UK back in September 2004. The Application states that Rox intended to use the trademark on "jewelry, watches, clocks and horological instruments, key rings and parts and fittings for the aforesaid goods". The granting of the Rox trademark was allowed under the UK Trade Marks Act of 1994.
At the time of filing, there were no objections by Rolex toward the use of the name "Rox". As such, Rox attempted to register a modified and updated version of its existing logo in 2010. The modified logo was intended for use with "horological and chronometric instruments, watches, clocks, parts and fittings thereof". Rox also attempted to register the trademark in relation to retail services in connection with the horological and chronometric watches and clocks. However, Rolex objected to the second registration. Rolex claimed that consumers were likely to be confused because the trademarks of the two companies were too similar. Additionally, Rolex claimed that the Rox trademark would ruin the distinctive character and reputation of the Rolex name and provide an unfair advantage to its competitor.
Luckily for the up and coming jewelry and watchmaker, the UK Trademark Office decided in favor of Rox. After reviewing the case in its entirety, the Examiner determined that there was no likelihood of consumer confusion because the trademarks were not at all similar. Rox expressed delight with the decision and claimed that, despite the disagreement between the companies, it continues to have the utmost respect for Rolex. After its recent win, Rox is looking forward to opening its first store in Edinburgh, where it plans to display a new line of silver jewelry and other luxury goods.