NEW YORK – A federal judge in New York has asked big-box wholesaler Costco and little-blue-box jeweler Tiffany & Co. to try to settle a multimillion-dollar trademark dispute.
Lawyers for the companies faced off in a Manhattan courtroom Friday over Costco Wholesale Corp.'s sales of thousands of Tiffany diamond rings that weren't made by the jeweler.
Costco says Tiffany has become a generic term for a mount common on engagement rings in which the stone is set in a raised claw.
The New York Post reports (http://bit.ly/Yu4lOe) that Costco lawyer James Dabney told the judge that saying "Tiffany ring" is like saying "Phillips screwdriver," ''Murphy bed" or "Ferris wheel."
Tiffany lawyer Jeffrey Mitchell says that if you ask 100 people on the street what Tiffany means, "they're not going to say the setting."