Beverly Hills jeweler, Chris Aire, sued a whole host of fine jewelry and watches brands back in 2010 for trademark infringement over the use of the term “Red Gold.” One of the brands sued by Aire was LVMH’s Hublot. The legal battle between Hublot and Aire has gone through several levels of the judicial system.
The crux of Aire’s claim was that “Red Gold” was a signifier of Aire’s products and brands and that he in fact had exclusive right over the use of this term because he had federally trademarked the term.
Hublot attempted to dismiss the case through a motion of summary judgment, claiming that the trademark is generic. The lower court declined to dismiss the case and deemed that there were enough questions of fact that a jury needed to decide the outcome. Hublot then appealed this decision once again arguing that Aire has no exclusive rights over the term “Red Gold” because the term has become generic within the industry.
Last week, the District Court granted Hublot’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. The court held that the term “Red Gold” had in fact become generic and that Aire didn’t have exclusive rights over that term.
The interesting thing is that the same judge who determined that there was a question of triable fact back in 2014, then determined that there wasn’t a question of triable fact last week and dismissed the case. Perhaps, Hublot provided stronger evidence and arguments showing that this term wasn’t a signifier of Aire’s brand and was in fact a common and generic term used to describe jewelry and fine watches.
In any case, LVMH has won its battle and avoided a costly litigation and/or settlement process.