Days after Samsung revealed its new Galaxy Watch Active, the company’s third-party developers now appear to have copied their downloadable smartwatch faces from Swiss watchmaker Swatch. Swatch filed for a $100 million lawsuit on Friday, and the company’s complaint is filled with images of watches that appear to be dead ringers for watchfaces you can buy for the Samsung Gear Sport, Gear S3 Classic, and Frontier. You can see a few of them above and below.
Swatch claims that over 30 of Samsung’s watchfaces were “identical or virtually identical” to trademarks it already owned. The complaint, as spotted by Reuters, accuses Samsung of unfair business practices, and that the copied designs will mislead customers to believe that Samsung and Swatch had a deal going on. (Apparently, they don’t.)
These Samsung watchfaces, available in the Galaxy Apps store for download, are designed by third-party developers, although Samsung still pockets a portion of the revenue, the complaint states. Swatch noted that one of them, the Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater, was a one-of-a-kind watch designed for collectors and cost about $650,000.
Swatch claims in the complaint that it reached out to Samsung directly in late December, sharing a list of watchfaces that looked suspiciously similar to ones Swatch had already created. While Samsung allegedly removed the watchfaces, it didn’t go as far as Swatch wanted it to — Samsung didn’t admit it copied any watchfaces and didn’t agree to review the entire Galaxy Apps store, Swatch alleges.
And even after Samsung responded, Swatch says it saw new watchfaces appear in the Galaxy Apps store for sale that still appeared to copy Swatch designs in color and style. Samsung later confirmed in a letter on February 15th that it had deleted some watchfaces but not all, indicating to Swatch that the message wasn’t getting through.
“In view of Samsung’s inadequate response, it is reasonable to conclude that Defendants will continue to infringe the Trademarks, and thereby cause further loss and damage to the Swatch Group Companies,” Swatch wrote. It’s calling for a trial in New York, seeking $100 million in damages.
Swatch has a history of taking legal action, having sued Target for allegedly copying watch designs, Tiffany & Co for failing to honor a business deal, and even Bloomberg for allegedly recording an earnings call. And in 2015, reports surfaced that Swatch had filed 173 smartwatch-related patents, many since 2012.