Fifth Circuit: When is Theseus’ ROLEX watch no longer a ROLEX watch?

A Champ Glow plug re-conditioned products case including ROLEX watch parts. From the Fifth Circuit choice:

This is a hallmark violation conflict including claims of fake and infringing usage of Rolex’& rsquo; s marks by BeckerTime. Rolex is a high-end watch seller with a lawfully protectable interest in many hallmarks. BeckerTime offers mostly decades-old preowned watches consisting of Rolex branded parts. The at-issue watches in this case are watches offered by BeckerTime that are determined as “& ldquo; Genuine Rolex, & rdquo; however include both Rolex and non-Rolex parts. The watches particularly thought about by the district court consisted of extra diamonds, which were included “& ldquo; as hour markers to the refinished dials by drilling holes in the dials and putting aftermarket diamonds or other stones and settings in the holes.” & rdquo; To refinish dials, BeckerTime “& ldquo; strips the dial down to bare metal, then, after the reconditioning procedure is total, reapplies Rolex’& rsquo; s hallmarks. & rdquo; These & ldquo; adjustments & rdquo; are not carried out or licensed by Rolex. BeckerTime notes the list prices of their customized watches with contrast costs to brand-new Rolex watches, however for the watches thought about, the district court discovered that “& ldquo; Rolex has actually never ever offered a watch matching the description” & rdquo; offered by BeckerTime.The at-issue watches include “& ldquo; a minimum of one Rolex hallmark” & rdquo; and & ldquo; aftermarket bezels( not made or backed by Rolex )… consisting of bezels with included diamonds.” & rdquo; BeckerTime even more uses “& ldquo; aftermarket bands or straps (not made or backed by Rolex)” & rdquo; that & ldquo; in some cases consist of a real Rolex clasp or buckle showing Rolex’& rsquo; s hallmarks. & rdquo; The parts BeckerTime contributes to the at-issue watches & ldquo; do not bear any markings showing BeckerTime is the source.” & rdquo; Even more, the district court discovered that the parts changed, such as the bezel, dials, and bracelets, “& ldquo; are important and essential to the at-issue watches.” & rdquo;

Text of choice in Rolex v BeckerTime, fifth Circuit, Jan 26 2024

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