Judge rejects Bloomberg’s bid to dismiss Swatch 'spying' suit

News company accused of improperly recording and distributing the watchmaker’s earnings call

Time is ticking down toward the next court date for Bloomberg LP after it lost its attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by Swatch Group AG. The Swiss watchmaker accuses Bloomberg of covertly recording an earnings conference call with securities analysts on Feb. 8 and then disseminating transcripts to clients and online subscribers.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that Swatch’s copyright infringement claim was sufficiently pleaded because the recording of the call met the standard of being fixed, independently created and possessing the requisite creativity, Reuters reports.

"Because the authorized audio recording is entitled to copyright protection, and because the copyright claim is properly registered, I deny the motion in full," Judge Hellerstein wrote.

Swatch says it made an announcement at the beginning of the call to listeners requesting that they not record it for publication or broadcast. Once it learned of Bloomberg’s recording, the watchmaker then procured a court order compelling the company to destroy its copies of the call and transcript. Swatch also seeks additional damages and other remedies for alleged willful infringement.

For more information, read Reuters’ coverage.

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