Home / Articles / 'Tiffany' rings cost Costco $19.4m

'Tiffany' rings cost Costco $19.4m

US wholesaler Costco is facing a $19.4m (£15m) bill for damages after jewellery chain Tiffany sued it for infringing its trademark by selling “Tiffany” engagement rings.The ruling by a US district judge is the latest twist in a long-running legal battle going back to 2013.Costco, which is to appeal against the decision, argues that “Tiffany” is now a generic term for the rings.But it has now been told it must call them “Tiffany-style” instead.The dispute centres on the sale of solitaire-style rings, comprising a diamond mounted on a single band with six prongs.Costco, which had sold 2,500 of them, put them on display with the label “Tiffany”, although they were not in fact made by the jeweller.An earlier court ruling in October 2016 ordered Costco to pay $5.5m in compensatory damages and $8.25m in punitive damages.But in a further court decision on Monday, the compensation was increased to $11.1m, while the amount of punitive damages still stands.Kate Swaine, a partner at law firm Gowling WLG, said: “This damages award may seem excessive given that only 2,500 products were sold, but if it can be argued that an infringement is blatant and where it relates to such a well-known brand, the claimant is entitled to seek punitive damages. “Brand owners will welcome this decision as an indication of the risk that third parties run in trying to make associations with famous brands.”
Source: BBC News

About Business Ideas UK

My name is Joel Bissitt. I have been an entrepreneur for 24 years and have run many small businesses across various sectors. For the last 10 years I have worked mainly within online media, franchising and small business start-ups. I am an author of various websites including Franchise UK https://www.franchise-uk.co.uk

Check Also

Brexit could cause 'catastrophic' loss of talent

Brexit could cause “catastrophic” damage to the UK’s booming culture industry, according to a …

Free Franchise Guide

Free Franchising Guide

 

Interested in buying a franchise? The our FREE Franchise Guide is a must! The guide contains lots of information to help you decide if franchising is right for you.

 

To claim your Free Franchise Guide click here