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Watchmaker Orient wants Galaxy smartwatch sales banned

Samsung has changed the branding for its smartwatches recently. “Gear” was the branding previously used for these devices. The Galaxy Watch is what Samsung’s calling its latest model. Samsung did this to bring the product under the Galaxy umbrella which has largely been associated with its smartphones. It will likely stick to this moniker going forward.

Japanese watchmaker Orient is now seeking an injunction against Samsung. Orient says that it trademarked the “Galaxy” monikers for watches in 1984.

Galaxy smartwatch claimed to infringe on trademark

The company has reportedly filed for an injunction with the Seoul Central District Court. It says Samsung has violated the trademark law and the unfair competition prevention law.

Orient does indeed have a trademark for Galaxy related to watches. It was awarded to the company in 1984. Orient has made several Galaxy-branded watches since then. There is a fundamental difference here, though. The local patent system categorizes Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatch as an electronic device. Orient’s Galaxy watches are classified as jewelry.

“We have registered Galaxy and Galaxy Gold trademarks since 1984. Samsung Electronics’ advertisement of Galaxy Watch as a watch is a violation of the unfair competition prevention law and the trademark law,” said an Orient official.

He added that it will now be difficult for Orient to develop and release a smartwatch that utilizes its Galaxy brand. It is thus seeking a sales ban on the Galaxy Watch. Samsung says that it hasn’t received any information about the injunction filing as yet. The company will reveal its position on the matter once it has all of the information.

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Biransahin
Biransahin

It’s a pretty weak case according to my wife who’s a copyright and patent lawyer. The Galaxy Watch is listed as an electronic device so it’s a different category. It’s an opportunistic and speculative case. Worth a try but unlikely to be successful. Btw, other watch companies have also used the term “Galaxy” for some of their models. I doubt even if the word “Galaxy” can be copyrighted. It would be like Kentucky Fried Chicken trying to copyright “Chicken”.

jekylnaruto
jekylnaruto

wel said. haha. that chicken copyright though. 😂😂

Abhijeet M.
Abhijeet M.

Wonder if this company had these watches when the Galaxy Gear came out all those years ago and they had no problem. I guess the round watch design of today’s smartwatches pissed them off. Not that that warrants a lawsuit.

Biransahin
Biransahin

Great point! The Galaxy Gear Watch came out in 2013! 5 years ago. If Orient had a Galaxy watch then, it was the time to sue. However if they brought out a Galaxy watch after 2013, Samsung could well sue them. Maybe they have opened a Pandora’s Box here that they might regret.