Jensen Jewelers, an independent fine jewelry retail chain based in Twin Falls, Idaho, has filed a lawsuit accusing Zales of misappropriating its name to reroute Google searches to its own website.
The Idaho Statesmen first reported that the retailer filed the lawsuit Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho, days after discovering that typing “Jensen Jewelers” into internet search engines uniformly brought up an ad for Zales Jewelers.
Jensen Jewelers is seeking an order that would prevent Zales from using its name in the future, with damages (payment) to be determined at trial.
The 10-page complaint alleges that the defendant’s advertisement “using Jensen Jewelers’ name and mark was likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of Defendants with Jensen Jewelers, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of Defendants’ goods, services, or commercial activities with respect to Jensen Jewelers.”
It includes a copy of a Google search that shows a Zales ad with the heading “Jensen Jewelers—Black Friday 35% Off Storewide—zales.com.”
“As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ above-described actions, Jensen Jewelers has been damaged by Defendants, and Defendants have and will continue to unfairly acquire income, profits, and goodwill,” the suit reads. “Jensen Jewelers is entitled to the amount that it was damaged by Defendants’ actions, disgorgement of Defendants’ profits, and costs of this action.”
Zales’ parent company Signet declined to comment for this article.
Jensen Jewelers is a small jewelry chain that operates 14 stores in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada. It was founded over 60 years ago.
Signet Jeweler-owned Zales, in comparison, has 751 stores, including two in Idaho, in Boise and Twin Falls.
Lawsuits alleging the unfair manipulation of search results have become more common in the past few years, and Google itself is often the defendant.
(Top: Jensen Jewelers logo courtesy of the company)