Four years on, Costco still argues 'Tiffany' is a generic term
Costco is going to pay for knocking off the country’s most famous jeweler.
On Monday, a U.S. district judge ruled that Tiffany was entitled to $11.1 million in profits plus interest, in addition to the $8.25 million previously ordered in punitive damages for selling imitation Tiffany rings.
Tiffany & Co. had sued Costco back in 2013, accusing it of appropriating its trademark without permission. The rings, which were displayed with the label “Tiffany,” were not in fact made by the jeweler. Instead, Costco claimed that “Tiffany” was a generic term referring to the ring setting made famous by the company.
By October of 2016, a New York court ordered Costco to pay Tiffany $5.5 million in compensatory damages, and then $8.25 million in punitive damages. Now, with this week’s court ruling, that number is up to $19.4 million.
Costco has been accused of selling only 2,500 of the counterfeit rings, worth far less than the $19.4 million the retailer now owes. However, the judge ordered Costco to pay three times the lost profit to Tiffany, and has permanently barred it from selling any non-Tiffany products under the Tiffany name, unless it specifies that it is simply “Tiffany style” or with a “Tiffany setting.”
According to a statement received by CNN, Costco plans to appeal the ruling.