The world's leading designers of wristwatches are banding together to stop artificial competition from unauthorised rivals that are seeking to cash in on the digital revolution in timepieces.
This is according to the antipiracy site TorrentFreak, which reports that big brands including Omega, Tissot, Certina and Mondaine have taken exception to so-called 'pirate' faces being made available for new smartwatches, and are now trying to delete them from the Internet.
Many smartwatches offer users the chance to customise the design but this has led to fake sites offering digital downloads for the products.
The companies are said to be sending cease-and-desist notices to websites offering their watch-face designs for download, although they have not confirmed this publically.
There are already smartwatches available from a range of firms including Samsung, Sony and LG, but the market is set to really take off from next year when Apple launches its first smartwatch (pictured).
Given its marketing muscle and brand loyalty Apple is expected by analysts to help build on what has been a fairly lacklustre market for smartwatches to date.
The Californian-based firm is also expected to have different watch faces available for download, but this could also have the effect of increasing the risk of piracy.
Sites such as Facerepo currently offer users the chance to download a traditional face on to their smartwatches.
The company told TorrentFreak that it acts quickly to remove watch-faces that are infringing copyright.
"Although some of the replica faces we've received take-downs for are very cool-looking and represent significant artistic talent on the part of the designer, we believe that owners of copyrights or trademarks have the right to defend their brand," it told the news site.