Tiffany Files Lawsuit against Costco (TIF,COST)
2/16/2013 4:44:01 AM
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) said on Friday that has filed a suit against Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) to make the company stop selling, what Tiffany calls forged diamond engagement rings bearing the luxury retailer's name.
The luxury jewelry retailer said that Costco has harmed its business reputation, citing a customer who brought to their notice that Tiffany rings were sold at a Costco stores. Tiffany said that it was “disappointed” to find Tiffany diamond engagement rings at a Costco store in Huntington Beach, California.
Tiffany said that it will sue Costco for counterfeiting, infringement, false advertising and misleading business ethics.
On Friday, the trademark lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit asks Costco to forfeit profits from the ring sales; in addition, it seeks damages of $2 million per infringement.
According to Tiffany, hundreds of Costco members purchased engagement rings, believing that they were genuine Tiffany’s collection, which actually were not.
It is not very uncommon to find luxury retailers alleging infringements to stop copycat products from flooding into markets as they not only hurt revenue streams but also impair customer goodwill.
“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, a lawyer for Tiffany in statement.
Meanwhile, executives from Costco declined to comment over the matter.
Earlier as well, many retail companies have sued Costco, including Calvin Klein, which alleged that it was hurting its brand image by selling products at lower prices.