Luxury retailer Tiffany & Co (Tiffany) filed a lawsuit against wholesale giant Costco, alleging in pertinent part, that Costco is selling counterfeit Tiffany diamond engagement rings, according to a Feb. 14 Associated Press report.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York on Feb. 14, and alleges trademark infringement, counterfeiting, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, false advertising and deceptive business practices. It also requests damages of $2 million per infringement.
The case stems from a November 2012 Costco customer complaint to Tiffany, notifying the luxury retailer that Tiffany engagement rings were being promoted on in-store signs at Costco. An investigation by Tiffany found that the Costco rings were counterfeit rings. Tiffany said Costco led customers to believe they were buying engagement rings they believed were authentic Tiffany rings, but were not.
“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,” Jeffrey Mitchell, Tiffany’s counsel, said in a statement.
“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.”
Costco’s chief legal officer, Joel Benoliel, declined to comment on the suit because it is pending litigation.
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