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Tiffany files suit against Costco for trademark infringement

New York -- Tiffany & Co. has filed suit against Costco Wholesale Corp., alleging alleges trademark infringement, dilution, counterfeiting, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, false and deceptive business practices and false advertising. Tiffany said it filed the suit “to prevent further sales of counterfeit diamond engagement rings and for damages associated with prior sales.”

Tiffany said that in November 2012, a customer alerted Tiffany to the sale of what was promoted on in-store signs as “Tiffany” diamond engagement rings at a Costco store in Huntington Beach, Calif. Tiffany immediately launched an investigation, and later learned that for many years, and without Tiffany’s knowledge, Costco had apparently been selling different styles of rings that it has falsely identified on in-store signage as “Tiffany.”

“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. 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,” said Jeffrey Mitchell of Dickstein Shapiro, Tiffany’s counsel in the case. “The Tiffany brand has been damaged, Costco members have been damaged, and Costco has profited from the sale of engagement rings by misrepresenting what they were.”