Recently, Swatch, a famous watch brand won a lawsuit filed in 1st Civil Court for Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights of Istanbul against şikayetvar.com, a third party platform that compiles and posts consumer complaints online.
Swatch argued that some of the products that consumers complained about were counterfeit Swatch watches.
Swatch alleged that its logo was used without permission on the şikayetvar.com website and the result has been to tarnish its reputation leading to the lawsuit filed for trademark infringement, requesting 20,000 liras (roughly $3,660) in non-pecuniary damages.
“Some of the complained products are not related to us. We were not allowed to use our right to reply to comments because of the obligation of a paid membership. The defendant has been acquiring illegally by using the Swatch brand and logo in an unauthorized manner,” the complaint stated.
A cease and desist letter was sent to Şikayetvar Bilişim to remove the unauthorized logos from their website but no result was seen.
The defendant claimed that Swatch created a corporate account on its website that costs 3,400 Turkish Liras (around $620) annually adding that the use of Swatch brand and logo is not out of place.
The 1st Civil Court for Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights of Istanbul ruled on the unauthorized use of the Swatch brand and ordered the defendant to pay 10,000 liras (around $1,830) in damages.
“When the decision is finalized, it will be unprecedented. From now on, the defendant firm will not be able to use corporate logos on its website. With this ruling, companies will have the right to respond to complaints free-of-charge,” said Eray İnceoğlu, a lawyer for Swatch.
In reaction, the defendant company’s lawyer said that the decision is not acceptable to them and would be appealed.