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HauteLook website
HauteLook website

Cartier sues retailer over watch sales

Cartier has filed a lawsuit against an etailer that is allegedly selling damaged and second-hand Cartier products to consumers and calling them new. 
Cartier is not the first luxury jewellery brand to sue a retailer. It follows brands such as Tiffany & Co and Louis Vuitton, which have both come to blows with eBay over the sale of counterfeit goods on the online auction site. 

The retailer in question, HauteLook, is a Los Angeles-based online designer goods retailer.

HauteLook states on its website that it “never sells second-hand merchandise ever”. It goes on further to say that it “partners with premium fashion and lifestyle brands to create private, upscale sale events.”

Cartier claimed it has never had a partnership with HauteLook and accused the retailer of “false advertising, unfair competition and trademark infringement”, according to a statement.

“HauteLook has never partnered with plaintiffs [Cartier] and is not an authorised dealer of plaintiff’s [Cartier’s] merchandise,” court papers said. 

Cartier first discovered the alleged deception when its agents bought five Cartier watches from HauteLook. The company claims that through close physical inspection of the watches and through each one’s individual serial number, they were able to establish that each Cartier watch was second-hand. 

The company said the watches were in a poor physical state with many of them sporting scratches, poor polishing and improper repair. Cartier claimed in court papers that the condition of the watches and the defaced and damaged certificates of authenticity that accompanied the timepieces sold by HauteLook have degraded its image and misrepresented the brand.

HauteLook recently added a disclaimer on its site saying that its products are not sourced directly from their brand manufacturers, but Cartier claimed the sourcing disclaimer is hidden in fine print. 

HauteLook said it is reviewing Cartier’s complaint. “HauteLook respects intellectual property right holders and is taking this matter very seriously,” the company told Reuters. 

If Cartier wins the legal battle, HauteLook will have to return its Cartier stock to the luxury brand and pay Cartier monetary relief plus damages of up to $2 million per type of disputed Cartier merchandise sold. 

Earlier this year, American luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co lost a lawsuit filed against eBay for allowing its users to sell counterfeit Tiffany & Co jewellery. Tiffany & Co declared the “court had justified [eBay’s] actions” through its decision. 

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