Tiffany in damages lawsuit against Costco
The dispute between the two retailers is based on a wedding gift registry service launched by Costco which included engagement rings, presented in a Tiffany style, but labelled on some signage as “Tiffany engagement rings”. Effectively making them Tiffany copies.
Rather than seeing its normal trademark blue, Tiffany saw red and sued Costco for trademark infringement and counterfeiting on the grounds some Costco shoppers believed they were getting real Tiffany rocks at rock-bottom prices.
A US District Court this week agreed, ruling Tiffany & Co is entitled to $19.3 million in damages for trademark infringement, counterfeiting and punitive damages.
Costco’s defence, that it was using ‘Tiffany’ as a generic term, and not selling Tiffany copies, per se, failed to impress the judge.
The decision effectively prevents Costco from using the term ‘Tiffany’ on its own, but the court judgement said appending words like ‘setting’, ‘style’ or ‘set’ would be considered legal.
Costco, which points out Tiffany was able to find “fewer than 10 customers” who thought they were getting a real Tiffany diamond ring, plans to appeal the decision.
This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail Thailand.
The supermarket giant has received the highest ever fine issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authorit… https://t.co/7DW7PRoizS3 hours ago
Kathmandu's sales have risen sharply over the past six weeks, but CEO Xavier Simonet remains cautious about the ret… https://t.co/nwniA7wcmE3 hours ago