Costco advertised some rings in its store as being “Tiffany” rings.
Problem is, Tiffany didn’t make them.
Costco says it wasn’t confusing anyone. It was just describing the setting style, which it says is known as a “Tiffany” setting.
Tiffany’s now suing Costco; Costco is counter-suing Tiffany, saying the “Tiffany” name has become generic.
In other words, Costco is saying that Tiffany’s invaluable brand no longer functions as a trademark; it instead denotes the good itself — a type of setting — the same way that nylon, aspirin, and elevator lost their proprietary meanings and became common words.
KIRO-Radio talked to me about this issue last week.
Do you think “Tiffany” has become generic?
Me? No way. Slam-dunk win for Tiffany.
We’ll see if the court agrees.