By Lenore Fedow
Van Cleef & Arpels’ trademarked Alhambra design, as seen in this “Sweet Alhambra” yellow gold watch, was replicated and sold as the real thing by King Jewelers, a lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges.
Miami—Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels have filed a joint lawsuit against a Florida jeweler accusing it of selling counterfeit versions of rings, necklaces and earrings from trademarked collections.

According to court documents filed in federal court in Miami on May 6, a representative of the Richemont-owned brands visited King Jewelers’ Aventura, Florida store in November 2018 and saw the look-alikes on display.

Employees allegedly told the representative the pieces on display were “inspired by” Cartier and Van Cleef pieces, but not authentic. The employee then went on to state that the products were not featured in the store’s catalogues because they “don’t want to get in trouble.”

The lawsuit, which was filed against Scott King Inc. (d/b/a Florida Diamond Brokers and Kings Jewelers), accuses the store specifically of selling imitations of Van Cleef & Arpels’ “Alhambra” and “Perlée” collections and Cartier’s “Love” and “Juste un Clou” collections.

The pieces were engraved with the brands’ names and were being sold at prices similar to pieces manufactured by Cartier and Van Cleef, according to the suit.

The brands described King’s activity as “intentionally fraudulent, malicious, willful, and wanton.”

20190515 Cartier comparison2A genuine Cartier Love bracelet (top) compared with an alleged fake (bottom) sold by King Jewelers. (Photo credit: (top), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (bottom)
King Jewelers was founded in 1912 in Salt Lake City, according to its website, but moved to tourist-friendly South Florida in 1931.

The retailer currently has two locations, the Aventura store and a store in Nashville, Tennessee.

In a statement to National Jeweler, King Jewelers Vice President Jonathan King characterized the accusations made by Cartier and Van Cleef as “outrageous” and inaccurate.

He said: “The allegations brought in the complaint include outrageous falsehoods, misrepresentations, and grave inaccuracies. We hope this matter will be resolved expeditiously."

Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are suing for the profit made from these pieces as well as statutory damages of up to $2 million per counterfeit collection and per jewelry category.

The brands also are asking that the store turn over its counterfeit pieces for destruction and retrieve any jewelry that was sent to retailers or sold to customers.

Fighting against fakes is challenging, but David Yurman recently took on counterfeiters and won.

The luxury jeweler was awarded $1.5 million after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in the company’s favor against 31 defendants operating websites selling counterfeit jewelry.

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