Trademark Ruling: SWAP not descriptive or confusingly similar to SWATCH watches

In Swatch AG’s challenge to defendant Beehive Wholesale’s trademark application for its “SWAP” watch bands with interchangeable faces, the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of Swatch’s claims for federal, state and common law trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.

The court found that SWAP was not a descriptive mark for Beehive’s interchangeable watches and noted that individuals, even retail professionals familiar with the products, had to exercise some imagination to connect “SWAP” with the function of Beehive’s watches.

The appellate court affirmed the lack of consumer confusion despite the similarity of the products (e.g., watches). The marks do not sound or look confusingly similar. In addition to the use of different stylized fonts, SWATCH generally accompanied by a Swiss flag while SWAP is generally accompanied by the phrase “by Beehive.”

For the link to the opinion:

http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/122126.P.pdf

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