DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Tiffany Prevails!

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

The title is not a reference to a win by me, but rather my namesake Tiffany and Company’s big win in the Southern District of New York.

Tiffany and Company was awarded nearly $16 million against Costco Wholesale Corp. (“Costco”). You may recall I blogged about this lawsuit which was filed on Valentine’s Day in 2013. See the post here.

The Reader’s Digest version of the case is that Tiffany and Company sued Costco for selling engagement rings infringing on its famous TIFFANY® trademark. The picture below is an engagement ring from the Tiffany and Company website.
Tiffany Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A federal jury with predominantly men (5 to 3 — so you cannot say it was Tiffany and Company groupies protecting their favorite store) awarded Tiffany and Company $7.5 million in damages, including statutory damages, because the conduct was willful (Costco knew they were infringing). Then, in Phase 2 of the trial, the jury slapped Costco with an $8.25 million award for punitive damages.

Not surprisingly, Costco was unhappy with the verdict and damages awarded. It plans to appeal to the Second Circuit. Will Tiffany and Company be able to retain the awarded damages and substantial punitive damages on appeal? Only time will tell.