Jewelry company claims Sam's Club selling its products without permission

Kelly Holleran Oct. 13, 2014, 3:32pm

A jewelry manufacturer says Sam's Club has begun selling its products without its permission.

David Yurman Enterprises filed a lawsuit Sept. 4 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Court against Sam's Club. 

In its complaint, Yurman claims it sells jewelry at various boutiques throughout the country. It also sells its products through authorized retailers, according to the complaint.

"Since its inception in 1980, Yurman has set new standards for designing and marketing jewelry, infusing the disciplines of art and fashion into the jewelry design process," the suit states. "Today, Yurman is well-known by consumers and the trade for the quality of its products, the innovation and uniqueness of its designs, and its technological developments in jewelry design."

Recently, Sam's Club has begun selling Yurman's products at a discounted price, including at least five stores in Harris County, one in Fort Bend County and one in Montgomery County, the complaint says. However, the store is contractually prohibited from selling the jewelry because it is not an authorized retailer, Yurman claims.

"Sam's Club is displaying David Yurman jewelry products while also making prominent use of the David Yurman trademark in its well-known stylized form, using David Yurman placards, packaging materials and what purport to be Yurman-issued certificates of authenticity," the suit states.

"Such conduct creates the false impression that Sam's Club is among Yurman's network of authorized retailers, and has caused consumer confusion and disappointment. For example, Sam's Club has been unable, at the point of sale, to service customers purchasing and/or attempting to purchase David Yurman jewelry products sold in its stores, as would an authorized Yurman retailer."

Although David Yurman has demanded that Sam's Club stop selling its products, the store has refused to do so, according to the complaint.

David Yurman alleges trademark infringement, false designation, tortious interference with contract and unfair competition against Sam's Club.

In his complaint, Yurman is asking the court to prohibit Sam's Club from using the company's trademark, from acquiring its jewelry products and from selling its merchandise. He also seeks unspecified damages, costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.

Christopher M. Odell and Hannah Sibiski of Arnold & Porter LLP in Houston will be representing him.

U.S. District Court case number: 4:14-CV-2553

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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