Hearts On Fire Sues De Beers Retail Chain

Hearts On Fire on Aug. 3 filed suit against De Beers Diamond
Jewellers, alleging the retail chain is infringing on the Boston-based brand’s trademark
for its “Sublime” mark.

The suit, which charges trademark infringement and unfair
completion, declares that the De Beers’ retail chain’s “Sublime
Symmetry Mark”
 is “nearly identical”
and “confusingly similar” to HoF’s trademarked “Sublime Mark.”

“De Beers actions are exploiting the goodwill that HoF has
build up under the Sublime Mark,” said the company’s legal papers, filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The suit says that on March 30, De Beers filed a trademark
application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for use of “Sublime
Symmetry” for jewelry. However, according to the papers, the examining attorney
refused the registration because of a “likelihood of confusion” with the
“Sublime Mark.”

De Beers “uses and intends to use the Sublime Symmetry Mark
without the authorization of HoF,” the papers continue. “HoF made a good faith
effort to resolve hits matter amicably.… [De Beers] has no intention of resolving
this mater amicably, but instead has been moving forward with branding under
the Sublime Symmetry Mark. As a result, HoF has had no choice but to commence
this action.”

The suit seeks an injunction against De Beers using the
Sublime Symmetry Mark further, as well as unspecified damages.

Representatives of De Beers’ retail chain declined comment.

One surprising aspect of this case is that on July 26, HoF
principal Susan Rothman introduced Varda Shine, CEO of De Beers’ Diamond
Trading Co., when Shine
received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Jewelry Association.

De Beers Diamond Jewellers is a co-venture between the De
Beers Group and luxury conglomerate LVMH.

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