Following a customer alert in November last year, to the sale of what was promoted on in-store signs as "Tiffany" diamond engagement rings at a Costco store in California, Tiffany launched an investigation and discovered that Costco had apparently been selling different styles of rings that it has falsely identified on in-store signage as "Tiffany."
"We now know that there are at least hundreds if not thousands of Costco members who think they bought a Tiffany engagement ring at Costco, which they didn't. Costco knew what it was doing when it used the Tiffany trademark to sell rings that had nothing to do with Tiffany. This is not the kind of behavior people expect from a company like Costco, and this case will shed a much needed light on this outrageous behavior," said Jeffrey Mitchell of Dickstein Shapiro, Tiffany's counsel in the case. "The Tiffany brand has been damaged, Costco members have been damaged, and Costco has profited from the sale of engagement rings by misrepresenting what they were. We will get to the bottom of what Costco was up to and why, and right a terrible wrong," Mitchell added.
According to Mitchell what makes this particular case different here from many other cases of counterfeiting is that "customers might be more easily taken in since Costco members expect authentic brand name merchandise at discount prices at Costco. Everyone knows that buying something on a street corner or over the internet from an unknown source is risky. Until now, no one would have thought it could be risky to buy brand name merchandise from Costco as well."
The suit brought against Costco Wholesale Corporation seeks to prevent further sales of counterfeit diamond engagement rings and for damages associated with prior sales. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and alleges trademark infringement, dilution, counterfeiting, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, false and deceptive business practices and false advertising.
Tiffany fine jewellery is sold only in Tiffany retail stores and is not distributed or sold at discount through other wholesale or retail establishments. In particular, Tiffany has never sold nor would it ever sell its fine jewellery through an off-price warehouse retailer like Costco, either directly or indirectly.
Tiffany & Co. operates jewelry stores and manufactures products through its subsidiary corporations. Its principal subsidiary is Tiffany and Company. The Company operates TIFFANY & CO. retail stores and boutiques in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Europe and the United Arab Emirates and engages in direct selling through Internet, catalogue and business gift operations. If you are unsure or need additional information visit www.tiffany.com
Labels: Costco, Costco Whalesale Corporation, counterfeit, Dickstein Shapiro, engagement ring, Jeffrey Mitchell, TIFFANY, Tiffany and Co, Tiffany v Costco, Tiffany's, US