At left is Galatea’s “Two in One Heart” design; at right is a post from the Swarovski Instagram account that was included in the lawsuit and features a bangle that employs the design that allegedly infringes on Two in One Heart.
Los Angeles--A California-based jewelry company has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Swarovski North America Ltd. for allegedly ripping off one of its designs.

Galatea Jewelry Corp. was started by jewelry designer and inventor Chi Huynh, whose innovations include the Momento line of pearl jewelry embedded with near-field communication technology.

The copyright infringement lawsuit against Swarovski, filed Dec. 4 in federal court in Los Angeles, is over a design Chi created in 2009 called the “Two in One Heart.”

It is described in court documents as “a unique and original abstract jewelry design” created by Chi to “capture his vision of love as a union of two individuals, at once both separate and together.”

The design, which gives the “optical illusion of a single heart comprised of two overlapping hearts formed from the same contiguous loop of metal,” was copyrighted in the United States in early 2010.

Six years later, as part of its Valentine’s Day collection, Swarovski began advertising and selling the pendants and bangles that Galatea alleges are a copy of Two in One Heart after altering the design slightly by horizontally flipping it, covering a larger portion with crystals (not diamonds, as Galatea uses), and tapering the points and rounding the edges, the lawsuit states.

Since 2016, Swarovski has continued to manufacture, distribute, promote and sell the design nationwide in the United States through its website, brick-and-mortar stores and third-party distributors such as Macy’s and Amazon.com.

“Swarovski has repeatedly highlighted the infringing products in its marketing and sales efforts for major shopping holidays, including Mother’s Day 2016, Valentine’s Day 2017 and, most recently, Cyber Monday 2017,” the lawsuit states.

Swarovski has its North American headquarters in Cranston, Rhode Island.

The company said it does not comment on pending litigation but added: “Swarovski takes any possible allegations of potential intellectual property infringements very seriously, and we are currently investigating the claim. As a responsible corporate citizen Swarovski certainly respects others’ rights in their business. This commitment has been embedded in the way we do business since 1895.”

In addition to Swarovski North America Ltd., Galatea names Swarovski Retail Ventures Ltd., Swarovski Digital Business USA Inc. and Swarovski Crystallized LLC as defendants in the lawsuit.

Galatea is asking the court to stop Swarovski from making jewelry that it claims infringes on its Two of One Heart designs; to recall, remove and return from commercial distribution any products with this design and destroy them; and to award it monetary damages.

|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.