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US judge rules Costco sold engagement rings labeled 'Tiffany'

Published 09 September 2015

Costco has infringed trademarks of Tiffany & Co’s by marketing counterfeit diamond engagement rings with the maker’s name and has to face a judicial trial to assess damages, declared a US judge.

diamond ring

New York-based luxury retailer Tiffany had filed a lawsuit against Costco in 2013.

In a countersuit, Costco claimed that "Tiffany" is a generic term for a pronged ring; however, US district judge Laura Taylor rejected this point.

The court stated that Costco willfully violated the laws and is liable for trademark infringement.

"Despite Costco's arguments to the contrary, the court finds that, based on the record evidence, no rational finder of fact could conclude that Costco acted in good faith in adopting the Tiffany mark," Swain wrote.

Swain set a hearing for 30 October. She also ordered Tiffany and Costco to "make good faith efforts to settle the outstanding issues".

Tiffany may now seek damages from Costco and seek a recovery of Costco's profits from the sale of the diamond rings.

Welcoming the ruling, Tiffany general counsel Leigh Harlan stated that it "further validates the strength and value of the Tiffany mark and reinforces our continuing efforts to protect the brand".


Image: Costco may have to pay hefty damages for using "Tiffany" on rings. Photo: Courtesy of Boykung/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.