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GIA Wins Court Battle Against Lab with Similar Name

Apr 19, 2021 3:38 AM   By Rapaport News
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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has prevailed in a trademark infringement suit against a lab that used a look-alike logo to ride off the GIA’s success, the organization said.

AIG Belgium, which operates as American International Gemological Laboratories and Antwerp International Gemological Laboratories, must immediately cease using “AIG” either alone or in conjunction with other marks, the GIA said last week, citing the court’s ruling. Continued use of the marks could see AIG slapped with a penalty of up to EUR 500,000 ($594,481), according to the GIA.

“The global gem and jewelry trade and consumers around the world rely on the independence of GIA’s science-based gemological reports and the industry-leading quality of GIA education,” said GIA general counsel and senior vice president Jennifer Wilson. “When others attempt to take advantage of GIA’s reputation and global recognition to create confusion in the trade and among consumers for financial gain, we will always respond with vigor and resolve.”

The suit follows several demands by the GIA that AIG stop using its protected marks and logos, it explained. The GIA is now pursuing a case involving AIG-related entities in Israel, it noted.

AIG lists US-based offices in Los Angeles, New York and Houston, as well as locations in Antwerp, Ramat Gan, Milan and London.

“AIG is a reputable and well-known network that is known worldwide for its gemology services,” claimed AIG deputy CEO Shira Nahum. “There is no connection between AIG Worldwide and AIG Belgium, and we are not connected to the court case. AIG Belgium has not belonged to the AIG network for several years. We are continuing to work with diamantaires, jewelers and members of diamond exchanges across the world to supply them with top-level gemological services.”  

Update, April 20, 2021: This article has been updated with a response from AIG.

Image: The GIA’s New York lab. (Shutterstock)
Tags: AIG, AIG Belgium, American International Gemological Laboratories, Antwerp International Gemological Laboratories, Gemological Institute of America, GIA, Jennifer Wilson, Rapaport News, trademark infringement suit
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