Mejuri has filed a fiery response to David Yurman’s lawsuit, dubbing it an attempt to “bully and stifle an emerging competitor by claiming designs that are ubiquitous in the jewelry industry.”
In December, Yurman sued the New York City–based e-tailer, charging that Mejuri products, such as the Croissant Dôme bracelet, Croissant Dôme cuff bracelet, and Croissant Dôme hoops, infringe on Yurman’s Pure Form and Sculpted Cable collections.
In a response filed March 4 in Southern District of New York federal court, Mejuri claimed that its designs came from “an independent and rigorous design process that was in no way influenced by Yurman’s products.”
The croissant motif was inspired by the French pastry, it asserted—adding that “twist designs have been used in jewelry since at least the Roman Empire.”
It further contended that Yurman’s complaint provided “no consumer studies indicating that consumers associate Pure Form Cable Bracelet with [its brand]” and sales of that product “comprise only a small percentage of Yurman’s overall business.”
The contested designs had “been on the market for two years before this lawsuit was filed, but not once did Yurman raise its purported concerns with Mejuri,” added the response. “Instead, it filed this meritless lawsuit and issued a press release without the courtesy even of providing Mejuri notice.”
Mejuri also argued that there was little chance of confusion between the two brands: “Mejuri and Yurman compete in different segments of the jewelry market[.] Mejuri products and Yurman products are never sold in the same stores.
“Mejuri has never sought to associate itself with Yurman,” it added. “Mejuri’s central mission is to differentiate itself from other companies in the jewelry industry.”
The counterclaim asked the court for a declaratory judgment that Mejuri has not infringed Yurman’s trade dress.
In response, Yurman’s attorney, Jay Neukom, a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, tells JCK via email: “It’s common for companies caught copying others’ designs to argue that the design is free for the taking. Mejuri’s weak attempt to excuse its conduct by citing the Roman Empire and its own corporate mission statement does not change the facts. Yurman’s complaint has side-by-side pictures that show how Mejuri’s ‘in-house’ designs mimic David Yurman, Boucheron, and Lagos. We look forward to making this misconduct even clearer as the case proceeds.”
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