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Judge Denies Sterling's Injunction Request Against Zale

Jan 25, 2013 1:22 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio denied Sterling Jewelers its request for a preliminary injunction against rival Zale Corporation. In November, Sterling sought to have the court prevent Zale from making the claim that Celebration Fire diamonds were the ''most brilliant'' in the world and it alleged that Zale used false and deceptive advertising practices.

Subsequently, both parties submitted their exhibits to the court on December 17 and 18, and the judge heard additional arguments on December 19.  The judge ruled on January 24,  that Sterling had fallen short of its burden to demonstrate a clear case of irreparable harm to its brand by Zale and failed to demonstrate the need for a preliminary injunction.

Additionally, the court determined that Sterling  failed to establish that it had no legal remedy and simply argued that Zale's marketing campaign provided competition, which resulted in taking an unfair portion of their market share. The judge stated that such damage would be calculable, not requiring a preliminary injunction. The judge wrote that Sterling  argued that consumers could be misled into purchasing Zale's  Celebration Fire diamonds ''and believing them to be scientifically better than other diamonds. Setting aside the fact that is unlikely that plaintiff has standing to pursue this claim, once again, these customers could be made whole through monetary damages,'' the judge wrote.

''In effect, all of the evidence presented by plaintiff suggests that its harm, at most, would be lost sales and possibly lost customers – both items that could be remedied through an award of monetary damages,'' the judge concluded.

Tags: Jeff Miller, sterling zale court case brilliance injunction
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