Industry News – Tiffany Acts Against Internet Sales of Counterfeits

Tiffany & Co., the international luxury jeweler, watchmaker and retailer, has gotten federal court injunctions to stop Internet sales of counterfeits of its jewelry, allegedly sold by a Philadelphia jewelry company, said Tiffany and its attorneys in an announcement.

The sales, which began in 1999, generated between $500,000 and $1 million according to Tiffany.

It was complaints from some of those purchasers about the jewelry, which led Tiffany last year to conduct a months-long investigation.

In November, Tiffany filed suit against Katz Imports Inc. of Philadelphia, in federal court in Philadelphia, for allegedly selling counterfeit Tiffany jewelry through its website and on the website eBay under the seller name “Diamondpaige”.

Katz Imports “vigorously” denied the allegations and what it called “Tiffany’s inflated claims of damages,” in a statement released. “Katz Imports is a highly reputable diamond and jewelry dealer in Philadelphia,’ said the statement. “The company has been a fixture on Jewelers Row for more than 20 years. Katz Imports has not, does not and will not sell so-called knock-off jewelry.”

The same day Tiffany field its suit, the court issued a seizure order to the United States Marshals Service, which seized illicit diamond rings and bracelets located on the premises of Katz Imports, Inc., as well as receipts of sales.

In mid-December, following a hearing, the Philadelphia federal court issued a preliminary injunction against Katz Imports, barring sales of the alleged counterfeit Tiffany jewelry.

The case is still in the discovery stage; Tiffany hasn’t determined yet how much it will seek in damages and compensation. The case will probably come to trial by this fall.

Tiffany & Co. has company-operated stores and boutiques in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, a Direct Marketing division which includes business, Internet and catalog sales, and a Specialty Retail division which include the Little Switzerland, Inc. stores.