JCK Exclusive: Orogem Sues De Beers Over Everlon

Orogem is suing De Beers over its Everlon Diamond Knot collection, claiming it infringes on Orogem’s copyrighted Larkhead Pendant designs.

The suit, filed last month, charges that De Beers “has copied and is advertising jewelry that is identical or substantially similar to Plaintiff’s [Orogem] copyrighted designs,” without permission.

Orogem says it has suffered “at least $100,000” in damages, but also seeks a full accounting of the “gains, profits and advantages that Defendants have obtained as a result of their wrongful acts of copyright infringement.”

Also named in the suit were four companies manufacturing Everlon – Rosy Blue, Stuckey Diamonds, Universal Pacific Diamonds and Jewelry, and JB-DM Jewelry – as well as retailers J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Zale Corp., Wal-Mart, Helzberg’s, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Samuels Jewelers and Fred Meyer Jewelers.

The suit could impact De Beers’ plans to move forward with Everlon in 2010.

De Beers has not responded to the suit at press time. But it is an interesting example of the tables being turned on De Beers, which has in the past indicated it will take a tough line against companies that violate its intellectual property for Everlon. Orogem declined comment.