Judge nixes Rolex, La Californienne settlement over ‘fake’ watches

Rolex and La Californienne have opted to settle their dispute over alleged counterfeiting of watches, but the judge in a US court has blocked their first attempt.

Last year, Rolex filed a lawsuit accusing the Californian company – which sells customised or “re-imagined” versions of its luxury watches – of being infringing its copyrights.

The suit alleged that La Californienne – run by Courtney Ormond and Leszek Garwacki – had used non-Rolex approved parts in the watches, meaning they were transformed from a genuine timepiece into a counterfeit.

The two parties proposed a settlement, but it was denied without prejudice by Judge Gary Klausner, meaning they can choose to try again with another version of the agreement.

The agreement rejected by Judge Klausner would have allowed La Californienne to continue customising and selling its watches, but it would have been unable to identify them as Rolexes unless asked, and would be barred from using any of Rolex’ trademarks such as its distinctive crown symbol.

It would also prohibit La Californienne from providing any warranty services, repairs, or service any of its previously sold watches, if they violate any of the agreed-upon terms.

The company’s creations – which include not only Rolex but also custom versions of other brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet – sell for thousands of dollars and have developed a following among celebrity customers.

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