Idaho Retailer Jensen Jewelers Files Lawsuit Against Zales

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)

JCK Magazine Editor


  • Steven Steinberg

    I’m a former sales representative that’s called on JENSEN JEWELERS for years, and from my personal experience, can say that JENSEN’S JEWELERS is an extremely reputable company. I’m hoping that they win enough to stop Zales, or any other large company from attempting to follow unprofessional practices.

  • Jim Adair

    That’s basically how Google adworks operates. If Jensen’s prevails it will totally change how Google does their ads for stores.

    • Sarah Nanasi Russell

      You can bid on trademarked keywords and you can have a trademark in your ad’s display URL but Google restricts the use of trademarks in the ad copy (unless you are the owner of the trademark, are a reseller or have authorization to do so). From the ad that was quoted in this article it looks like it was in the copy itself…so I wouldn’t be surprised if Google put a stop to these Zales ads. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6118?hl=en

  • Sarah Nanasi Russell

    Wow. This is definitely against Google’s trademark policies regarding trademarks in AdWords ad text… and it’s really pretty outrageous that Zales would do that. PSA if this happens to anyone who might be a smaller jeweler, you can file a trademark complain to Google to stop something like this here: https://services.google.com/inquiry/aw_tmcomplaint (just read up on their trademark policy first because it gets a little specific wrt where the trademark is used in the ad, and geographic regions.)

  • Arthur Birnbaum

    Way to go Jensen’s : a GREAT local jeweler!!!!

  • Susan Bruno

    I don’t personally know much about Jensen Jewelers but I do know that this is just one on the underhanded scenarios I know that Signet Corp. has pulled on a small chain. They are predatory!