Money expert Clark Howard loves shopping at Costco, but the membership-only warehouse club will have to come out of pocket themselves for some shady marketing practices. On Monday, a judge ordered Costco to pay Tiffany & Co. million for selling rings under the Tiffany name.
Costco on the hook for millions in ‘Tiffany’ ring case
Tiffany claims it lost $3.7 million due to the trademark infringement — that represents the amount Costco’s made from the ring sales.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled that Costco must pay Tiffany $11.1 million (triple the ring sales) plus interest, as well as $8.25 million in punitive damages, according to CNN Money.
Some of you may remember that Costco was earlier ordered to pay a nearly $6 million fine for selling bogus Tiffany rings. Costco has sold the rings since before 2007. Tiffany first filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in New York against Costco on Valentine’s Day 2013 after learning the company was selling off-brand engagement rings labeled as “Tiffany.”
Judge Swain has now said Costco is permanently prohibited from using “Tiffany” as a stand-alone term when selling its products, according to the New York Times.
Costco has said it will appeal, calling the decision the “product of multiple errors in pretrial, trial, and post-trial rulings.”
The ruling “validates the strength of the Tiffany trademark and the value of our brand, and most importantly, sends a clear and powerful message to Costco and others who infringe the Tiffany mark,” Tiffany said in a statement to CNN.