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Tiffany to Get Costco's Earnings From Fake Rings

Sep 9, 2015 3:40 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Tiffany & Co. is entitled to Costco Wholesale Corp.’s earnings from the sale of fake Tiffany engagement rings, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. The luxury jeweler is also entitled to punitive damages under New York state law, Judge Laura Taylor Swain determined.

The Court denied Costco's claim that "Tiffany" is a generic term for a pronged ring and further found that Costco was liable for trademark infringement and trademark counterfeiting in its use of "Tiffany" on signs in the jewelry cases at Costco to describe certain engagement rings that were not made by Tiffany & Co.

"We are gratified that the Court found that Costco's use of the TIFFANY trademark infringed on our rights" said Leigh Harlan, Tiffany’s Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, in an email to journalists. In rendering its decision, the Court concluded that "Tiffany had proffered uncontroverted evidence demonstrating the strength of its mark." she added, "We believe this decision further validates the strength and value of the Tiffany mark and reinforces our continuing efforts to protect the brand."

According to the company, for nearly 130 years, the Tiffany setting has been sourced and manufactured to strict specifications, backed by a lifetime guarantee. Tiffany maintains an aggressive and rigorous intellectual property program, and regularly takes actions against counterfeiters and infringers, the email noted.

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Tags: Costco, Rapaport News, Tiffany, trademark
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