Los Angeles, CA – Rolex Watch USA, Inc. sued Aaron Gallagher, doing business as rplwatches.com, replwatches.com, and watchreps.com, for trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act § 43(a). Rolex manufactures high-end watches, watch bracelets and related products for men and women, which are sold under the Rolex family of trademarks and several other registered marks.
Rolex alleges that in May of 2006 it discovered Defendant’s watchreps.com website and it was able to shut it down through the website’s Internet Service Provider. Defendant then contacted Rolex’s counsel and attempted to reactivate the website, but Rolex did not receive a response to its settlement demands in return for reactivation. In April of 2009, while Rolex was investigating sales of infringing watches on craigslist.org, it discovered that pictures in the classified ads linked to Defendant’s reactivated watchreps.com website. In response to Rolex’s cease and desist letter, Defendant allegedly stated that Rolex “will have no further problems regarding this issue.” Rolex’s investigator, however, responded to an ad on craigslist.org and received an email from replwatches.com allegedly signed by Aaron. Upon Rolex’s request, the ISP identified the registrant of the website as Aaron Gallagher. When the investigator called to purchase the watch, Defendant allegedly stated that Rolex “was after me…they’re watching me like a hawk.” The investigator received a watch that is allegedly counterfeit and infringes on Rolex’s trademarks. Thus, Rolex determined it was time to file suit. The case is Rolex Watch USA, Inc. v. Aaron Gallagher, et al., CV 09-4646 R (C.D. Cal. 2009).