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Tiffany sues Costco for selling fake engagement rings

New York-based jewelry company Tiffany & Co. is suing Costco Wholesale Corp. for selling fake Tiffany engagement rings.

Tiffany ring 2013 02 15Enlarge
A model shows off a diamond ring and bracelet outside the entrance to Tiffany & Co.’s Wall Street store on Oct. 10, 2007. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – New York-based jewelry company Tiffany & Co. is suing Costco Wholesale Corp. for selling fake Tiffany engagement rings, the Associated Press reported.

While Costco’s main business is selling food and household goods at a discount, the warehouse chain also sells small amounts of luxury goods, including diamonds and fine art, according to the Wall Street Journal.

After a customer alerted Tiffany that Costco was selling two diamond rings labeled "Platinum Tiffany” online late last year, the company bought one of the rings and ascertained it was counterfeit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Tiffany jewelry is only sold in its own stores, the Wall Street Journal reported. Its least expensive one-carat diamond engagement ring costs $11,000; Costco was selling a “Tiffany” one-carat ring for $6,400.

Tiffany decided to sue after determining that Costco has been selling rings labeled “Tiffany” for years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We now know that there are at least hundreds if not thousands of Costco members who think they bought a Tiffany engagement ring at Costco, which they didn’t,” Jeffrey Mitchell, Tiffany’s counsel in the case, said in a statement, according to the AP. “Costco knew what it was doing when it used the Tiffany trademark to sell rings that had nothing to do with Tiffany. This is not the kind of behavior people expect from a company like Costco, and this case will shed a much needed light on this outrageous behavior.”

The lawsuit filed in US District Court in New York claims trademark infringement, counterfeiting, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, false advertising and deceptive business practices, the AP reported.

Costco has so far declined to comment, the AP reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130215/tiffany-sues-costco-selling-fake-engagement-ring