Legal briefs

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the Cartier folks get to take time off from their battle on the legal front. Cartier and Cartier International B.V. filed a lawsuit in late July against Aaron Faber Gallery, alleging that the business altered genuine Cartier watches. According to court documents, Aaron Faber Inc., Edward Faber and unnamed John Does allegedly added diamonds to genuine watches and sold them with the original Cartier trademark on them. Edward Faber said he was surprised that the case was filed. “The secondary market is very vast and very large and it’s astounding to me that Cartier is concerned when clients ask to embellish Cartier product,” he told WWD. Aaron Faber sells mostly secondhand and collector pieces, many of which are Cartier, Faber said.

The owners and U.S. licensees of the Cartier, Piaget and Baume & Mercier, as well as the Van Cleef & Arpels brands, filed a similar trademark infringement complaint against Capetown Diamond Corp, an online jewelry retailer based in Roswell, Ga. The lawsuit, filed July 6 in Manhattan federal court, alleged that Capetown Diamond, Capetown Luxury Group, Carl Kenneth Marcus, Jonathan Marcus and a number of John Does replaced parts and added diamond arrangements to genuine watches. According to a statement from Capetown, “Mr. Marcus and Capetown Diamond Corporation are within their legal rights to continue this service. We intend to defend our legal rights and the rights of our customers to add diamonds and gems to pre-owned watches that were purchased in good faith from the manufacturer and whose owners wish to customize at a competitive price for diamonds and gems.” Cartier’s lawyer declined to comment on the case, citing a Cartier policy.

Cartier and Cartier International also resolved a trademark infringement case against a group of 47th Street jewelers that has been in the court system since March 2004, alleging that the retailers were selling Cartier look-alikes. L&M Jewelry and David Rappaport settled the claims against them on June 27 when they reached a final judgment on consent with Cartier. The initial complaint was filed against Samo’s Sons, Freddie Samuel, Gabriel Efraim Jewelry, Gabriel Musheyev, L&M Jewelry Creations Inc., David Rappaport, Awad II, Italiano Gold Mounting, Sardell Jewelry and John Does. Most of the defendants named in the case settled with the jeweler in April. A motion for summary judgment against the remaining defendant in the case, Sardell Jewelry, is still pending.