Tiffany & Co wins counterfeit case against Costco

Costco cartTiffany & Co has managed to persuade a US court that retailer Costco infringed its trademarks when it sold jewellery labelled as 'Tiffany'.

The main point of contention in the lawsuit - which has been running since 2013 - was whether the term 'Tiffany', as well as being a trademark, could also be considered a generic description for a type of diamond setting commonly used for engagement rings.

Tiffany - which is considered to have popularised the setting - was granted a motion for summary judgment on September 8 which found that Costco had engaged in counterfeiting and unfair competition and was liable for damages.

The US District Court in Manhattan rejected Costco's counterclaim that Tiffany is a generic term and said the retailer would have to face a jury trial at the end of October to determine the level of damages owed.

"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," said Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Tiffany & Co presented evidence during the court case that several people had bought the engagement rings under the mistaken impression that they were purchasing a product made by the luxury jewellery company.

Image courtesy of
a katz /

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