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Tiffany’s Trademark Infringement Victory a Costly Lesson for Costco

Tiffany’s Trademark Infringement Victory a Costly Lesson for Costco

September 19, 2017

Authored by: Bryan Cave, Merrit Jones, Alex Whitworth and Nancy Franco

A federal district court has ordered Costco to pay Tiffany at least $19.4 million in a trademark infringement battle based on generic diamond engagement rings bearing the “Tiffany” name.

Judge Laura Taylor Swain in the Southern District of New York ruled that Tiffany is entitled to $11.1 million as profits for trademark infringement, plus interest, representing triple its lost profits, plus $8.25 million in punitive damages awarded by a jury last October. Judge Swain also permanently barred Costco from using “Tiffany” as a stand-alone term, without modifiers such as “setting,” “set” or “style.”  Tiffany did not assert any infringement claims based on Costco’s use of the terms “Tiffany style” and “Tiffany setting,” leaving open the question of whether these modifiers could provide a fair use defense.  Costco has appealed the ruling.

In an unsuccessful bid to dismiss the case before trial, Costco had argued that “Tiffany” has become a generic

Online Seller Wins Dismissal of RICO Claims in Counterfeiting Action by Fashion Retailers

A New York federal court recently held that defendant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (“Alibaba”), which is notorious for allegedly enabling the sale of counterfeit products, did not violate federal racketeering law by selling allegedly counterfeit products on its e-commerce venues.

Alibaba owns and operates the popular shopping sites Alibaba.com, Taobao.com, and AliExpress.com, and generated $248 billion in gross merchandise volume in 2014 – more than Amazon and eBay combined. Luxury fashion retailers, including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, filed suit against Alibabi and seven other corporate entities that had roles in online platforms through which Chinese merchants could connect with consumers worldwide.

The lawsuit alleges that fourteen Chinese merchants, also named as defendants, sold counterfeit products bearing plaintiffs’ marks in the Alibaba marketplaces. It further alleges that the Alibaba defendants provided the online marketing, data collection, payment processing, financing, and shipping services necessary to sell the products, even though they

EEOC Proposes to Collect Pay Data from Certain Employers

April 25, 2016

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EEOC Proposes to Collect Pay Data from Certain Employers

April 25, 2016

Authored by: Nancy Franco

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently proposed a revision to the Employer Information Report (“EEO-1”) that would require certain employers to submit aggregate data on employee pay and hours worked.

Employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50-99 employees already are required to submit the EEO-1 to the EEOC by September 30 of each year.  The current version of the EEO-1 requires employers to report the number of individuals they employ by ten job categories, sex, race, and ethnicity. Under the new proposal, beginning with the September 30, 2017 report, private employers and federal contractors with 100 or more employees would also report the number of employees and the employees’ total W-2 earnings for the prior twelve month period within twelve designated pay bands.

For example, an employer would report that it employs 5 Latina women who are Senior Level Officials in the twelfth pay band

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