By Michelle Graff
A side-by-side comparison of the Cartier parrot pendant (left) and allegedly infringing designs from Lugano Diamonds. All images were provided in the case’s court papers. Click below to see larger images of pieces included in the lawsuit.
Los Angeles--Cartier has filed a lawsuit against Lugano Diamonds, accusing the Newport Beach, Calif. jeweler of knowingly selling parrot and panther pieces that are knockoffs of some of its most well-known designs.

Cartier Creation Studio S.A. filed suit against Lugano Diamonds & Jewelry Inc. for both copyright and design patent infringement on May 28 in California federal court. Lugano designs and sells high-end jewelry by appointment only at its showroom.

According to the lawsuit, the fur and feathers first started flying when someone at Cartier spotted an “imitation parrot necklace” in a March 6 posting on Lugano’s Facebook page.

A month later, a Cartier agent went to the Lugano showroom in Newport Beach and was told by employees there that the retailer recently sold one of these parrot necklaces for $68,000 and that Lugano could have another parrot necklace made upon request and could, in fact, “make additional copies of other Cartier products for cheaper prices than those offered by Cartier,” court papers state.

Lugano refused to comment on the lawsuit.

Cartier, which is owned by Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont, also alleges in the lawsuit that Lugano advertises, promotes and offers for sale an infringing copy of its “Panthère” earrings, which the agent spotted in the showroom, and Panthère ring, which the agent saw in another Facebook post. 

The 168-year-old luxury brand has a U.S. Copyright for its “Parrot Necklace,” and a patent for the Panthère designs.

About a month after the agent’s visit to Lugano, Cartier’s lawyers sent the jeweler a cease-and-desist letter but Lugano has “continued to advertise their Parrot Infringing Necklace on their Facebook page,” court papers state. The parrot post was still up as of Wednesday morning. 

Cartier is asking the court to, among other things, permanently block Lugano from copying and selling jewelry that allegedly infringes on Cartier copyrights or design patents; make available to Cartier all records related to this jewelry; and for monetary damages in the case.

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