11 February 2019Trademarks

Chris Aire in ‘Red Gold’ infringement case against Richemont

Solid 21 Inc watch company, owned by Nigerian-American watchmaker Chris Aire, is suing Swiss jewelry maker Richemont, alleging infringement of its 'Red Gold' trademark.

In the  suit, filed on Friday, February 8, Solid 21 alleged that  Compagnie Financière Richemont and its subsidiaries, including Montblanc International, had infringed its registered mark for ‘red gold’ watches.

The mark (US number 2,793,987), registered in 2003, covers fine jewelry with a “special alloying of gold”, which gives it its red colour.

Solid 21 has been active in defending the mark, also suing brands including Louis Vuitton and Hublot & Co. for infringement. The Hublot case was dismissed in October 2018, after which the defendants issued a joint statement acknowledging the “Red Gold” mark as “incontestable”, the complaint said.

The watchmaker claims the 'Red Gold' brand has become distinctive and associated with Solid 21’s luxury watches through an extensive promotional campaign, including celebrity endorsements and product placements.

According to the latest filing, Solid 21 has spent “millions of dollars and countless man-hours” building the 'Red Gold' watch brand, which has been promoted at events including the Academy Awards.

Solid 21 is alleging trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition, false description of goods and deceptive acts.

Aire’s company is seeking injunctive relief preventing Richemont from any further infringement, as well as full costs and profits resulting from alleged use of the mark.

WIPR has contacted Chris Aire and Richemont for comment.

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More on this story

17 June 2015   A Californian court has ruled that a trademark for ‘Red gold’ is generic, reversing an earlier decision that said Chris Aire Fine Jewelry & Timepieces had a valid trademark for the term.
8 April 2019   US watchmaker Solid 21 has accused Swiss competitor brand Breitling of trademark infringement.