Omega v. Costco case ? Update

Thread: Omega v. Costco case ? Update

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  1. #1
    Member resipsa99's Avatar
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    Omega v. Costco case – Update

    A previous thread (https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=346753) discussed a lawsuit that Omega brought against Costco, alleging that Costco’s sale of grey market Omega watches infringed Omega’s copyright on the logo that it places on the back of its watch cases. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Omega, holding that Costco did, in fact, violate Omega’s copyright by selling the watches.

    Costco then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Before deciding whether to take the appeal, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General for the government’s view on the case. The Solicitor General’s brief, which was filed earlier this month, argues that the Supreme Court should not take the case because the Ninth Circuit got it right. More details about the case and a link to the government’s brief itself can be found here: http://www.exclusiverights.net/2010/03/solicitor-general-reccomends-denial-of-cert-in-costco-v-omega/.

    I am no expert in Supreme Court procedure, but I am making an educated guess that it is now unlikely that the Supreme Court will take the appeal, which means that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling will be settled law. In short, it probably will be a lot harder to find grey market Omegas in the U.S., and I suspect that other watch companies may follow Omega’s lead.

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    Member AbsoluteMustard's Avatar
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Would be tragic to lose the grey market, but I doubt it would be that easy to get rid of.

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    Member novedl's Avatar
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Quote Originally Posted by resipsa99 View Post
    A previous thread (https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=346753) discussed a lawsuit that Omega brought against Costco, alleging that Costco’s sale of grey market Omega watches infringed Omega’s copyright on the logo that it places on the back of its watch cases. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Omega, holding that Costco did, in fact, violate Omega’s copyright by selling the watches.

    Costco then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Before deciding whether to take the appeal, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General for the government’s view on the case. The Solicitor General’s brief, which was filed earlier this month, argues that the Supreme Court should not take the case because the Ninth Circuit got it right. More details about the case and a link to the government’s brief itself can be found here: http://www.exclusiverights.net/2010/03/solicitor-general-reccomends-denial-of-cert-in-costco-v-omega/.

    I am no expert in Supreme Court procedure, but I am making an educated guess that it is now unlikely that the Supreme Court will take the appeal, which means that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling will be settled law. In short, it probably will be a lot harder to find grey market Omegas in the U.S., and I suspect that other watch companies may follow Omega’s lead.
    swatch is making its way into my stock portfolio. bloody briliant strategy by swatch. they are positioning omega to be the true rival to rolex and it's gonna work
    Enjoying a life far better than I deserve...

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    v76
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Interesting bit of news there ... but I still think they'll be fighting an uphill battle since most of their sales growth will be from Asia (and, in about 15 to 20 years, in absolute numbers as well) and it will be almost impossible to enforce a strategy like that over there.
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Quote Originally Posted by novedl View Post
    swatch is making its way into my stock portfolio. bloody briliant strategy by swatch. they are positioning omega to be the true rival to rolex and it's gonna work
    Works for me! Vintage values rise somewhat in accordance with modern prices. I think I'll grab one or two more that I've been thinking about soon.

  7. #6
    Member Aqua Spearo's Avatar
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    impressive victory..but I generally dont agree with their business strategy, and I dont see anyway they are going to be a true rival to rolex when they seem to be so fixated on market share. Companies that strive for rapid increases in market share do not create products that appreciate in value. They produce high value product by flooding the market, which is going to come back to bite them. Rolex doesnt seek market share, they are first and foremost interested in producing only enough watches to sell at a premium.
    Last edited by Aqua Spearo; March 31st, 2010 at 19:12.
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Omega and other Swatch brands (e.g. ETA) have become a complete turn-off for me, not just because of this but the entire Swatch strategy.

    I'm planning on thinning out my collection and dumping the ETA movement watches, that's how strongly I feel about it. I get much more satisfaction out of owning a nice Russian or Seiko or Sea-Gull with their own movements and part of that satisfaction comes from being able to thumb my nose at Swatch.

    I'm sure I'm in the minority with this but that's how I feel about it anyway... So from this one consumer's point of view, the Swatch strategy to gain market share has completely backfired.

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    Member FlyPenFly's Avatar
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Aqua Spearo View Post
    impressive victory..but I generally dont agree with their business strategy, and I dont see anyway they are going to be a true rival to rolex when they seem to be so fixated on market share. Companies that strive for rapid increases in market share do not create products that appreciate in value. They produce high value product by flooding the market, which is going to come back to bite them. Rolex doesnt seek market share, they are first and foremost interested in producing only enough watches to sell at a premium.
    They're focused in contracting market share... they're closing down ADs left and right and opening their own boutiques.


  10. #9
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    I think Costco was targeted because it is a grey market brick and mortar store. Visible to the public's naked eye, unlike online dealers.
    Last edited by HelloNasty1; March 31st, 2010 at 22:29.
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  11. #10
    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: Omega v. Costco case – Update

    Quote Originally Posted by HelloNasty1 View Post
    I think Costco was targeted because it is a grey market brick and mortar store. Visible to the public's naked eye, unlike online dealers.
    I think Costco was chosen because they ARE very public and probably quite large enough that once it is known that Costco lost, MOST of the online grey dealers won't even try to fight. However, also they probably thought that Costco may not put up much of fight probably since the Omega watch sale is VERY VERY small part of their sale that they won't really care if they lost the case.

    I think in both front they were right and they will be leaping benefit initially. Swatch group can potentially send the letter to let's say Jomashop siting the court ruling to get the Joma to stop selling the Omegas online quite quickly and IMHO Jomashop will most likely comply. This could also go to all Ebay grey market dealers as well. (Effectively making it impossible for any ebay dealers to advertise Omega watches as "New")

    Now, for long term? I do not know whether their strategy will be successful.
    Chronic flipper...


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