What could/should Costco have done differently to avoid this kind of a lawsuit?

Recently courts ruled on a trademark infringement case between the famous jewelry maker Tiffany & Co and giant wholesale retailer Costco.  Read this article from USA Today (Links to an external site.) on the case and discuss it with your classmates.  In an original post, discuss whether or not you believe that Costco was just making use of the generic “tiffany setting” term when they labelled their rings “Tiffany” or was that just a ploy to get customers to believe this was an actual Tiffany & Co. ring.

  • Given that terms like “Kleenex” and “Xerox” were once company trademarks but have become so widely used that they are no longer considered trademark protected, isn’t it at least possible that this is really what Costco intended?
  • Or as the judge said do you think it was an “an intentionally deceptive marketing ploy.”  
  • What could/should Costco have done differently to avoid this kind of a lawsuit?

For this assignment I have included a PowerPoint presentation you may review to understand the what is meant by the term “tiffany setting” as compared to the settings for other diamond rings.


Write an original 200+ word post. In your post mention at least two things you have learned from the textbook or lectures on the topic.  Give your opinion on the issue in a clear and understandable manner. Always discuss any ethical issues that are involved. Cite any other sources you use when writing your post at the end of your submission.  

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