Costco Ordered to Pay $8M More in Tiffany Suit

MajorsOct 06, 2016

Costco Ordered to Pay $8M More in Tiffany Suit

The jury awarded the jeweler $8.25 million in punitive damages, though the total amount Costco will pay is ultimately up to the judge.

New York--Tiffany & Co. won $8.25 million in punitive damages in its case against Costco Wholesale Corp., which it sued back in 2013 after learning the wholesale club was selling rings labeled as “Tiffany” that were not made by Tiffany & Co.

A New York federal jury handed down the punitive damages portion of the verdict Tuesday, piling on to the $5.5 million in unlawful profits they ordered Costco to pay last week.

That potentially brings the total bill in the case for Costco to $13.75 million, though the judge has the final say on the jury’s verdicts.

Costco declined to comment on the outcome of the case, stating that “Because the jury’s verdicts will be subject to further consideration by the court, further comment is not appropriate at this time.”

Tiffany, meanwhile, shared this statement, attributed to Senior Vice President and General Counsel Leigh M. Harlan, “The award validates the strength of the Tiffany trademark, the value of our brand, and most importantly, sends a clear and powerful message to Costco and others who infringe the Tiffany mark.”

“Tiffany is much more than a name. It stands for responsible sourcing, exacting standards and exceptional craftsmanship. We felt a responsibility to protect the value of our customers’ purchases and to ensure that Costco‘s customers were not mislead about their purchases. It is critically important that the Tiffany name not be used to sell any engagement ring that is not its own.”

National Jeweler will follow up next week with an analysis column by Chicago-based intellectual property attorney Emily Miao, the same attorney who commented on the case when part one of the verdict came in late last week.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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