On 9 September 2015 a United States Federal Court issued its ruling on a protracted trade mark legal battle between luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co and wholesale trader Costco Wholesale Corp over the famous TIFFANY trade mark. The Court denied Costco’s claims that the TIFFANY mark has become a generic term for a type of ring setting and held that Costco’s unauthorised use of the TIFFANY mark on lesser quality rings and jewellery cases amounted to infringement and counterfeiting of Tiffany’s registered trade mark rights. The Court went on to state that Tiffany, who has used the TIFFANY trade mark on jewellery since 1837, had “proffered uncontroverted evidence demonstrating the strength of its mark”. Tiffany may now seek damages, which may include a recovery of Costco’s profits from the sale of the infringing TIFFANY rings in addition to punitive damages. Tiffany & Co opened an international headquarter in Dubai in 2011 and enjoys a strong brand presence across the Middle East.
Source: Tiffany and Company & Tiffany NJ (LLC) v Costco Wholesale Corporation, S.D.N.Y. 2015, 13-1041