Salem Radio Network News Sunday, August 1, 2021

Business

Tiffany, Costco end 8-year lawsuit over fake ‘Tiffany’ rings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tiffany & Co has ended its more than eight-year-old lawsuit accusing Costco Wholesale Corp of trademark infringement and counterfeiting for selling generic diamond engagement rings bearing the “Tiffany” name.

Lawyers for the companies on Monday filed a stipulation dismissing the case with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The dismissal came after a federal appeals court in August threw out a $21 million judgment that Tiffany, acquired in January by French luxury goods company LVMH SE, won in 2017 following a jury trial.

A trial judge had found Costco liable for selling the disputed rings, despite its claim that “Tiffany” had become a generic term and described the rings’ pronged setting. That left jurors to decide only how much Tiffany should recover.

But the appeals court said Costco acted in good faith, and that Costco customers were smart enough to realize Tiffany didn’t make or endorse the warehouse chain’s “Tiffany” rings.

Tiffany sued Costco on Valentine’s Day in 2013, to protect the now 184-year-old company’s brand and cachet. It ended the case after replacing its law firm this month.

Neither company nor their lawyers immediately responded to requests for comment.

An estimated 3,349 customers bought Tiffany-set rings at Costco during the period covered by the lawsuit, court papers showed.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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