19 September 2016Trademarks

Cartier takes aim at counterfeit jewellery

Luxury brand Cartier International has sued Californian jewellery store Fantasy Jewels in a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit.

In the suit, filed on September 15 at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Cartier claimed that Fantasy Jewels and its owner Massoud Torabian had promoted, distributed and sold jewellery products that are imitations of Cartier’s designs.

The luxury brand claimed that Fantasy Jewels is aware of Cartier’s intellectual property rights but has chosen to “blatantly disregard them and continue offering for sale counterfeit and/or infringing jewellery products.”

Cartier claimed counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition, dilution and t arnishment of Cartier’s trademarks, copyright infringement and infringement of trade dress.

The trademark claim concerns the mark ‘Cartier’, which has been used continuously in the US in connection with the advertising and sale of fine jewellery and watches since at least 1859, according to Cartier.

The claim also concerns Cartier’s ‘Love’ collection, a variety of jewellery products with a flat metal band in white gold, yellow gold, or pink gold punctuated by simulated screw head designs and/or diamonds. Cartier has registered the word mark ‘Love Bracelet’ and related trade dress.

Cartier’s Juste un Clou bracelet, which consists of a circular design in the shape of a nail, is the basis for the copyright claim. The bracelet has US copyright registration number GP 83,787 and Cartier has also made “widespread and exclusive use of the iconic” trade dress.

According to the suit, Fantasy Jewels has sold bracelets, rings, and earrings bearing the ‘Love’ trade dress and ‘Cartier’ mark. It has also allegedly sold bracelets and rings that infringe the Juste un Clou trade dress and are substantially similar to Cartier’s works.

The luxury brand claimed that it sent an agent to the shop, where Torabian had informed the agent that the items were “good quality, but they are not the real Cartier.”

In July, Cartier sent a cease-and-desist letter, but the infringing activity did not stop, it said.

Cartier is seeking a jury trial, an injunction against Fantasy Jewels, the destruction of the infringing products, statutory damages of up to $2 million per counterfeited mark, any profits made by Fantasy Jewels from its unlawful actions, and punitive damages.

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