Merit Diamond says it won copyright court battle

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York awarded Merit a preliminary injunction prohibiting Frederick Goldman, Inc. and retailers BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., and Kohl’s Corp. from manufacturing and selling a “knock-off” of Merit’s copyrighted Three Stones Pendant, Merit said in a statement Thursday, in which it called the ruling a “significant victory.”

The Three Stones Pendant is part of Merit’s Sirena Collection. The court also ordered BJ’s and Kohl’s to recall existing stocks of the “knock-off” pendant and ordered Goldman to recall all pendants which are in the possession of its other retail and wholesale customers.

The court based this decision upon its finding that Merit was able to demonstrate a “likelihood of success on the merits” of its copyright infringement claim against the defendants, Merit said in its statement.

The court rejected the defendants’ argument that imposing a recall of the pendants sold through hundreds of retail outlets would be expensive and harmful to stores such as Kohl’s and BJ’s, Merit said in its statement. The court said that the recall is “necessary to prevent the [pendants] from making their way onto store shelves” and to support the “beneficial effect of the preliminary injunction,” according to the statement.

“This decision not only helps protect Merit’s rights, but also demonstrates to Merit’s customers that Merit is willing to go to great lengths to protect their interests and assure that the sale of Merit’s original jewelry designs will not suffer as a result of knock-offs, Merit said in the statement.

The law firm of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP represented Merit and has been retained to police its copyrighted and trademarked designs.