Costco Appeals Multi-Million Trademark Loss To Tiffany & Co

Jul 13, 2023


Welcome to Baytowne Reporting, your reliable source for legal news and insights. In this article, we will dive into the highly publicized case of Costco's appeal against a multi-million trademark loss to Tiffany & Co. Discover the intricate legal details surrounding this high-profile dispute and why Costco is taking it to court.

Background of the Case

In 2017, Tiffany & Co., the renowned luxury jewelry brand, sued Costco Wholesale Corporation, the popular American membership-only warehouse club, over trademark infringement. Tiffany accused Costco of using their renowned name to market and sell engagement rings that were not affiliated with the official Tiffany brand.

The court initially ruled in favor of Tiffany, awarding the jewelry company a substantial sum of money—millions of dollars—in damages. Costco, however, refused to accept this verdict and decided to appeal the decision. Let's explore the rationale behind Costco's appeal and the legal arguments they put forth in their defense.

Costco's Grounds for Appeal

Costco's legal team has raised various noteworthy arguments to challenge the initial ruling. Firstly, they contend that the term "Tiffany" is generic, commonly used to describe a specific type of engagement ring setting, rather than exclusively associated with Tiffany & Co. This raises questions about the validity of Tiffany's claim on the term.

Additionally, Costco argues that there was no evidence of customer confusion. They claim that their customers were fully aware that the engagement rings purchased at their warehouses were not Tiffany & Co. products, as the prices were significantly lower than those of the luxury brand's offerings.

The Importance of Trademark Protection

Trademark protection plays a vital role in safeguarding a company's brand identity and the goodwill it has established over the years. It prohibits unauthorized use of trademarks that can mislead customers or dilute the uniqueness of a particular brand. The Costco-Tiffany case raises essential questions about the boundaries and limitations of trademark protection in the business world.

Trademark law aims to balance the rights of trademark holders and the rights of consumers and competitors. It strives to prevent customer confusion and protect the reputation and distinctiveness of established brands. In this appeal, the court will need to analyze the specific legal provisions and precedents to arrive at a well-grounded decision.

The Potential Implications

If the appeal is successful for Costco, it could set a significant precedent in trademark law cases. The outcome will determine how commonly used terms are protected and whether the strength of a luxury brand's trademark can extend beyond its literal boundaries.

On the other hand, a victory for Tiffany & Co. would reaffirm the importance of maintaining exclusivity and preventing the dilution of a world-renowned brand's reputation. It could strengthen the public's perception of trademarks as proprietary indicators of quality and authenticity.


In conclusion, the Costco-Tiffany trademark dispute has captured public attention and invigorated discussions surrounding trademark law. As this appeal progresses through the legal system, the final decision will shape the future of trademark protection and influence how businesses operate within the bounds of branding and marketing.

Stay tuned to Baytowne Reporting for updates on this case and other legal developments. We are dedicated to providing insightful analysis and keeping you informed on the latest legal news.

Rob McIlvaine
Interesting read! 🤔 Curious to see how Costco's appeal turns out against Tiffany & Co. 💼
Oct 12, 2023