Online retailer shut down for violating Rolex trademarks

Rolex watchWebsite has been shut down following a lawsuit filed by luxury watchmaker Rolex that also saw its founder fined $8.5m.

Rolex filed the case in the US Federal Court for the District of Central California a year and a half ago, claiming Nevada business LLC and founder Krishan Agarwal sold counterfeit and altered Rolex watches, along with fake spare parts such as bezels, bracelets, and dials.

The judge overseeing the case - Hon. Fernando Olguin - ordered an immediate takedown of the website and any other site containing the name Melrose in September, and the transfer of trademark-infringing domain names to Rolex. 

The case is notable in that was just outside the top 600 Internet retailers last year, according to Internet Retailer magazine, with sales of more than $10m in 2011 - more than double the previous year - and an estimated $12m in 2012. The company claimed it had been selling only used watches.

Earlier this year the company unveiled a major expansion in its product range, with Agarwal claiming at the time that: "All pre-owned watches available at are completely trustworthy as the watches have to go under more than 200 hundred quality checks and if not cleared the watches are not made available for sale."

In addition to Rolex watches, also sold products purporting to be manufactured by Breitling, Cartier, Tag Heuer and Omega.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized $1.2m-worth of fake designer watches at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the summer. The haul of 215 watches bore counterfeit Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega registered trademarks.

Rolex has been battling counterfeiters of its products for years, and filed a multimillion dollar trademark infringement lawsuit in May against Jonathon Cook - the lead singer of pop punk group Forever the Sickest Kids - after he allegedly sold counterfeit Rolex watches via an account on Craigslist.

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