We used to have favorable comments about International Watchman on this blog, but it was brought to our attention that owner Ron Sabo has been engaging since 2012 in activities that can only be described as IP trolling:
- Sep 2012 http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?54073-International-Watchman-Inc-NATO-G10
- Nov 2013 http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?61181-More-news-about-International-Watchman
- Oct 2014 http://www.dailyreportingsuite.com/ip/news/_nato_and_nato_g_10_marks_not_proven_generic_for_watches
Watchproject.com was created to promote the re-use and mixing of designs that have either been dropped by established brands or fallen into public domain. We do not condone counterfeiting, but we believe that any micro-brand entrepreneur should be allowed to tinker with designs or ideas as long as they don’t become parasites to the added value created by for-profit or non-profit structures.
In this case the polemic revolves around the terms NATO (accronym of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an intergovernmental military alliance funded by taxpayers money), and G10, which is the nickname of the G1098 form that NATO soldiers had to fill in to get their hand on a watch strap originally designed by the British Ministry of Defence, thus paid for by British taxpayers:
In a move that can only be described as greedy, Ron Sabo went on and registered the widespread terms NATO and NATO G10 as US trademarks, and since 2012 he has been asking eBay to remove sales that included either of the terms in the title of description.