Latest update in the ongoing Swatch versus Cousins case re refusal to supply parts to the legitimate repair trade.
News Update: 4.1.17 - Despite Swatch objections, Swiss Judge agrees Cousins request to limit the case
I am once again pleased to give you another positive update on the action brought against Cousins by Swatch in the Bern Court.
When our Swiss lawyers studied the claim Swatch made, they formed an opinion that Swiss law does not allow such a case to be dragged to Switzerland, and that the real reasons Swatch had made the claim were to try and intimidate us, to drain our resources, and to delay things for as long as possible. We are optimistic that the Bern Court will take a very dim view of such legal tactics.
In our response to the Court, we detailed all the arguments that support this opinion, and requested a ruling from the Judge that he suspend hearing the full case until he had decided whether or not the case was admissible at all. Logic dictates that it makes no sense to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal fees, and days of court time arguing about EU Competition Law, only to find out afterwards that the whole case was not admissible.
On receipt of our request, the Judge forwarded our arguments to Swatch and asked for their response. Unsurprisingly, Swatch did not agree with our challenge, dismissed it out of hand, and requested that the Judge give us very limited time to present our response to the entire case.
However it seems that our arguments about the legitimacy of Swatch’s actions are well enough founded and need to be considered, because the Judge has now issued an order in line with our request, and against Swatch’s preferred procedure. This order greatly simplifies and speeds up matters. In my opinion, this decision clearly shows that the Bern Court does not hesitate when it comes to ensuring that the rules are followed fairly, and to further ensure that the minnows have a genuine opportunity to defend themselves when attacked by the whales. I am grateful to the Judge for his actions in this regard.
The practical upshot of all this is that we will get a much quicker decision from the Swiss court on where the full case will be held. If our points of procedural law win the day, then ultimately the case will return to the English courts where it will be considerably easier to argue a matter of English and EU law. If the Swiss Court does not agree with our arguments, then we will have the more difficult option of arguing the matter in a foreign language some 600 miles away from home.
What Swatch should by now have learned from all this, is that whatever legal tactics they employ, Cousins resolve remains as strong as ever when it comes to obtaining a ruling that their parts embargo breaches English and EU competition law. We continue to do everything we can to support our trade customers in their efforts to provide the end consumer with quality services at a fair price.
WatchPro Report: http://www.watchpro.com/cousins-claims- ... tch-group/