Luxury Watchmakers Obtain Court Orders For Removal Of 'Pirated' Downloadable Smartwatch Faces

Who would have thought that bootleg watch faces would become a thing? Yet that is what is occurring as smartwatches continue to make their way to consumers. The Apple Watch isn’t out yet, but the need for consumers to customize the watch face of their device is growing as smartwatches like the Moto 360, allows them to customize the watch face. However, this has prompted luxury watchmakers to band together in order to remove watch faces from download sites.

Users wishing to customize the look of their smartwatch can go to websites, such as FaceRepo, in order to download watch faces that are digital copies of luxury watches from companies such as Rolex, Cartier, and Tag Heuer. It’s a much cheaper way for a user to flash a watch face from the high-end watchmakers instead of paying thousands of dollars for the watch itself.

Digital Watch Faces

Problem is, according to TorrentFreak, companies like Panerai, Fossil, Michael Kors, Armani, Swatch, and other watchmakers are sending cease and desist notices to websites and individuals that might be offering the digital copies without permission. One such website, that has received these notices, is FaceRepo which has been complying with the takedown requests.

“Although some of the replica faces we’ve received take downs for are very cool looking and represent significant artistic talent on the part of the designer, we believe that owners of copyrights or trademarks have the right to defend their brand,” said FaceRepo operator Luke to TorrentFreak. “If a copyright or trademark owner contacts us, we will promptly remove infringing material. To date, all requests for removal of infringing material have been satisfied within a matter of hours.”

With the Apple Watch coming around the corner, and more smartwatches on the way, the issue of bootleg watch faces is sure to grow. It remains to be seen how this form of digital piracy will affect the watch market and how watchmakers will proceed from here on out in regards to the proliferation of their work and the affect it will have on sales.

Could bootleg watch faces lead to luxury watchmakers selling digital copies of their watches to smartwatch owners? Sound off in the comments and let us know!