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Again, Elgin Enforces Fair Trade Contract

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1940

Again, Elgin Enforces Fair Trade Contract

In keeping with its policy of protecting the retail jeweler from unfair price competition, the Elgin National Watch Company again has "cracked down" on contract violators in two law suits filed in a Detroit, Michigan, court.

The complaints in each case charge a breach of the company's retail sales contracts, which it has entered into with retailers of its watches in all of the forty-four states having fair trade acts. The latest Elgin legal actions name Isaac Fredland and A. J. Cutler & Company, both of Detroit, as defendants. According to Elgin officials, both concerns were warned shortly before last Christmas when they were found to be disregarding the retail resale prices on Elgin watches established by the contracts.

Upon filing the complaints the company won injunctions in the Wayne County Circuit Court which prevent the defendants from advertising, offering for sale or selling any Elgin watches at less than the retail resale prices set by the company. Both of the Detroit firms are also enjoined from using the trademark "Elgin." "Lord Elgin" and "Lady Elgin" so as to in any way injure the good will of plaintiff.

Furthermore, the injunctions prohibit defendants from "accepting articles of a nominal value and the giving of a trade-in allowance therefor in excess of the reasonable value thereof." They also restrain them from selling or advertising isolated models of Elgin watches for sale as "close-outs." Finally, both are banned under the court order from representing themselves as wholesale dealers of the company's products.

The temporary restraining order issued upon the application of the Elgin National Watch Company last January by the United States District Court at Dayton, Ohio, (see our March issue) was made permanent by the Court on April 9th. This temporary restraining order enjoined Bohlender and Royson store there and Jack Weist, auctioneer, from sel1ing Elgin watches in an auction they were then conducting at less than the retail resale prices established by the Company under this fair trade act.

The temporary order was obtained within a few days after the auction at the Bohlender and Royson store was started and protected the prices on Elgins until the case could be regularly brought on for trial. 

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