The iconic jewelry store Tiffany & Co. is a model for trademark enforcement by aggressively and successfully policing its brand in the courts. Last year Tiffany & Co. filed litigation against Costco, claiming that the warehouse giant sold more than $6 million of ersatz Tiffany engagement rings and improperly used the jeweler’s name on at least 200,000 in-store signs. That trial began this week in federal court in New York.
Chris Schwegmann, a partner at Lynn Pinker Cox Hurst in Dallas, who focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, says:
This type of litigation not only discourages counterfeiters, but also ensures that Tiffany’s luxury brand doesn’t get diluted over time. I find it interesting that Costco argued that ‘Tiffany’ represents a generic term used to describe a ring setting, and not just a brand name. That’s a tough case to make against a company that aggressively defends its brand. If this case goes as I expect, it is unlikely that other companies in the industry will try to make the same the same arguments against Tiffany & Co., which is a benefit of aggressive trademark enforcement.
Read more about the case here.
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