Industry / Retail

Cartier, Tiffany End “Trade Secrets” Dispute


Cartier and Tiffany have ended their year-long legal squabble over whether Tiffany executives encouraged the theft of Cartier’s trade secrets.

The “stipulation of discontinuance with prejudice,” filed by both parties on Feb. 17 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, does not mention any settlement terms or conditions.

Ian Shapiro, a partner with law firm Cooley, which represented Cartier, tells JCK: “The matter has been successfully resolved.” Tiffany’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Cartier’s original complaint, filed last February, alleged that a former Cartier employee, who eventually went to work at Tiffany, forwarded confidential business information to her private email and later passed it on to her new employer. It further asserted that Tiffany senior executives “repeatedly and knowingly solicited and received confidential Cartier information” from the employee.

Cartier’s private data could “provide a distinct strategic advantage to a competitor desperate to take a portion of Cartier’s market share by enabling that competitor to focus its resources on filling the particular gaps identified by Cartier in each market,” the company said in a legal filing.

Tiffany called the allegations “baseless” and the lawsuit “bizarre.” In its motion to dismiss, it asserted that the employee in question had been fired and that any confidential information that was received had been destroyed.

In April 2022, Cartier filed an amended complaint charging that a second employee had forwarded proprietary information to his private email before heading to Tiffany. Tiffany responded that there was “no evidence” any confidential documents had been shared with the company.

The lawsuit included the unusual spectacle of two high-toned brands taking some pretty low shots at each other. Cartier charged Tiffany’s high jewelry division was in “disarray” following its takeover by LVMH; Tiffany called the lawsuit an attempt to drum up publicity for a “competitively fading brand.”

Both brands are owned by rival conglomerates: Cartier is owned by Richemont, while Tiffany was purchased in 2021 by LVMH.

News of the suit’s dismissal first appeared in Law360.

This story has been updated with a comment from Cartier’s attorney.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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By: Rob Bates

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