Rapaport Magazine

CIRCA Files Trademark Lawsuit

By Rapaport
CIRCA Inc. filed a trademark lawsuit on November 5, 2010 in the Federal Court of Canada against Circa Auctions of Toronto and three of its principals: Kashif Khan, Ravi Poddar and Sampat Poddar. The lawsuit seeks an interim, interlocutory and permanent injunction against the defendants and includes a claim for punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages.

CIRCA claimed that it had become aware that Circa Auctions had passed off goods and services under the trademark “Circa” and “was taking advantage of CIRCA INC.’s valuable trademark rights, reputation and goodwill and causing confusion that has been threatening that reputation and good will,” according to the court filing.

JAA Expels Diamond Exchange Ltd.

The board of the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) has expelled online diamond trader Diamond Exchange Ltd. for misconduct based on receiving more than 50 complaints over the course of the last few months, according to the JAA’s chief executive officer (CEO), Ian Hadassin.

Although the exchange’s business name is utilized online by a number of parties, the specific company being referenced here is located at diamondexchange.com.au. The Diamond Exchange offered and sold loose diamonds and finished jewelry products to its online customers, but consumers informed JAA that though they had paid for the goods, their purchases never arrived. The exchange was also cited for failing to refund consumers payments when goods were returned.

Despite repeated efforts to seek full resolution of all complaints, the Diamond Exchange was unable to remedy the situation, according to the JAA. The association called on Commonwealth and state governments to act to ensure greater protection for consumers who elect to deal with online traders.

KP Plenary Ends in Stalemate

The eighth annual plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP), held from November 1 through November 4, failed to reach an agreement regarding diamond exports originating from the Marange region of Zimbabwe. The meeting was attended by hundreds of delegates representing more than 70 countries, human rights organizations and diamond industry groups. Boaz Hirsch, the current chair of the KP, who also serves as Israel’s chief international trade negotiator, acknowledged that despite “rigorous negotiations,” KP members “were not able to bridge the gaps among them…regarding the contentious issue.”

In the interest of streamlining the operation of the KP Certification Scheme (KPCS), the plenary committed to enhancing cooperation between the KP and the World Customs Organization (WCO) in the global fight against the smuggling of conflict diamonds. The plenary also welcomed the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as the incoming chair for 2011.

Jewelers Report Strong Diwali Sales

Jewelers in India reported their highest Diwali season sales ever, as consumers went on a buying spree across the country, except in Punjab, where the recent floods dampened demand, according to the Economic Times, India’s business newspaper. Despite a 24 percent jump in gold prices since last year’s Diwali, leading jewelry retailers noted that sales growth ranged between 40 percent to 80 percent this year. Gitanjali Gems, which owns the D’damas, Nakshatra, Gili and Sangini brands, reported that its sales were 70 percent to 80 percent higher than in 2009, totaling approximately $99,392 to $110,436 (INR 4.5 million to INR 5 million), according to managing director Mehul Choksi.

Other leading jewelers also posted 40 percent to 50 percent sales growth. Orra’s chief executive officer (CEO), Vijay Jain, said that apart from necklaces and bangles, solitaire sales have gone up by over 60 percent. Bhuwan Gaurav, head of marketing for Tanishq, acknowledged growth across all categories, particularly in diamonds. Diwali typically accounts for one-fifth of annual jewelry sales in India. 

 —Additional reporting provided by Acquire Media.


Article from the Rapaport Magazine - December 2010. To subscribe click here.

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