Reuters reports that Target has been sued by Swatch Group SA, which accused the second-largest U.S. discount retailer of illegally selling watches that copy its own. In a lawsuit made public on Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Swatch - known for its plastic namesake watches - accused Target of infringing its designs for "zebra" and "multi-color" watches.
Swatch said the quality of Target's watches is "inferior" to its own, and that their continued sale is likely to confuse shoppers and damage the Swiss company's sales. It also said it advised Target of the alleged infringement, but that the Minneapolis-based company continued its sales.
"By adopting the Zebra Watch trade dress and the Multi-Color Watch trade dress, defendants are unfairly competing" with Swatch, the complaint said. Swatch seeks to stop Target from selling the alleged copies, recoup profit from prior sales and be awarded money damages.
Target spokesman Evan Lapiska declined to discuss the lawsuit, but said the retailer's policy is "to respect the intellectual property rights of others and we expect the same from our vendors and partners."