Singapore—Rolex has successfully blocked Franck Muller from registering “Mariner” as a trademark in Singapore, reports thefashionlaw.com, a website that follows all things legal and business in the fashion industry, including jewelry and watches.
The fight began in 2016 when Franck Muller Group filed a trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to use the word “Mariner” on watches. Rolex, protecting the name of one of its most well-known styles, the “Submariner,” initiated formal opposition proceedings as soon as Muller’s pending mark was published for opposition in 2018. The decision, handed down recently, found that “the connection between Rolex’s trademark and its goods is clear.”
Although Rolex ultimately won its case, IPOS hearing officer Tony Yeo did point out that the word “submariner” possesses only a “medium” degree of inherent distinctiveness, not a strong one. Still, the marks were ruled more similar than dissimilar, which made the case for Rolex.