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Watch Out!

Pssst!  Want to buy a watch?

According to an article by Liza Casabona in this month's WWD Accessories supplement (not available online), seizures of counterfeit watches are on the rise.  So far this year, watches and watch parts account for 10 percent of the goods seized by U.S. customs, following only apparel and footwear, and up from 2 percent for fiscal 2006.  And that's not including online sales of "replica watches," or the legally more complex issue of jewelers altering less expensive versions of genuine watches to look like their pricier counterparts by, for example, adding diamonds.  (Thus far, the brands are winning their trademark infringement cases, based on the argument that the modified watches are misrepresented as original workmanship and do not carry disclaimers.) 

Perhaps counterfeit retailers have finally decided to target all the guys hanging around on Canal Street while their female friends are buying fake handbags.

And yes, those quotes are from your favorite law prof -- thanks, Liza! 

P.S.  Doubt the trend?  There's even a website that reviews replica watches: