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Is the pronunciation of Ice-Watch and Swatch too similar?
Is the pronunciation of Ice-Watch and Swatch too similar?

Ice-Watch, Swatch fight ends in draw

A lengthy and unusual legal battle between Ice-Watch and Swatch has come to an end with the signing of a new agreement.

The arrangement, made in Switzerland on Tuesday 21 January, puts an end to litigation proceedings initiated by Ice-Watch against Swiss giant Swatch. 

The dispute goes back almost eight years, when the Belgian-based company filed a trademark for Ice-Watch. Swatch opposed this registration, citing a risk of phonetic confusion that may even lead to deception within the public. 

At the time, the court acknowledged that while the two trademarks looked dissimilar, the name Ice-Watch could conceivably be misheard by a potential customer as I-Swatch or even Ice-Swatch. 

Ice-Watch CEO Jean-Pierre Lutgen
Ice-Watch CEO Jean-Pierre Lutgen
In May 2008, the parties reached an agreement of coexistence; however, this was short-lived when Swatch terminated the agreement without notice in 2009, citing differing interpretations. 

Subsequently, Ice-Watch took the case to the Commercial Court of Berne, where conciliation has now been reached and the new agreement signed.

This resolution puts an end to the legal proceedings, with Ice-Watch announcing that it will free up resources to focus on new products.

“I am very pleased with this agreement which strengthens the Ice-Watch brand and the concept, and puts a definitive end to the litigation. This proves that Ice-Watch is a mature and well-established company. It will allow us to focus our efforts on the development of the brand, and on a number of projects we have in the pipeline,” Ice-Watch CEO Jean-Pierre Lutgen said.

The two parties have made a commitment to keep the details of the agreement confidential.

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Saturday, 18 January, 2020 08:36pm
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