Tiffany sues Costco over wrongly labeled engagement rings
Did you buy a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring from Costco? Well, it might not have been a Tiffany ring after all. A Tiffany subsidiary is suing Costco over wrongly labeling some of the company's alleged "Tiffany" rings.
The Associated Press reports that Tiffany is alleging "trademark infringement, counterfeiting, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, false advertising and deceptive business practices" in the suit. The retailer originally learned about the situation when a customer reported seeing in-store signs for "Tiffany" diamond engagement rings in the Huntington Beach, Calif. Costco back in November. Tiffany asserts that those rings are in no way related to their company.
After an investigation, it was learned that Costco has been selling alleged "Tiffany" rings for years without Tiffany being the wiser. Customers thought they were buying actual Tiffany & Co. brand jewelry, when it actually was just knockoffs. It just goes to show that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
"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," Tiffany's counsel in the case Jeffrey Mitchell says 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."
The lawsuit Tiffany filed calls Costco to forfeit all profits from sales of the improperly identified rings, plus additional damages of $2 million per infringement.