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Trademark Law

Tiffany suit alleges Costco co-opted the jeweler’s name in ring sales

Posted Feb 15, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A trademark lawsuit filed by Tiffany on Valentine’s Day claims Costco was falsely promoting engagement rings in its stores with the jeweler’s name.

The suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, claims Costco salespersons were referring to “Tiffany” engagement rings, report Reuters and the New York Times. “Tiffany has never sold nor would it ever sell its fine jewelry through an off-price warehouse retailer like Costco,” the suit says.

Tiffany says it learned of the deception after a customer said she was disappointed to see signs for Tiffany rings at Costco in Huntington Beach, Calif. Costco did not promote Tiffany rings online, however, because it did not want its misuse of the name to be detected, according to the suit.

Costco changed its marketing after Tiffany complained, the suit says. Tiffany is seeking profits from the ring sales along with damages of $2 million per infringement, Reuters says.

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