In a suit similar to the one Tiffany & Co. filed against the warehouse giant, Michael Kors claims Costco falsely advertised selling the designer brand’s handbags.
According to a complaint filed July 11 in federal court in New York, a Costco Mother’s Day ad in April featured a large picture of three handbags, one prominently featuring the Michael Kors trademarks. Other Kors handbags were also featured in smaller photos, the complaint alleges.
“Costco is not an authorized retailer of Michael Kors handbags, yet nonetheless it has disseminated nationwide advertising that prominently features Michael Kors’ highly sought-after luxury handbags and claims those handbags are available from Costco ‘starting at $99,’” the complaint says, calling Costco’s tactics “bait and switch.”
The suit charges false advertising and unfair competition, and seeks unspecified damages.
In February, Tiffany & Co. sued Costco, claiming it had falsely billed some of its rings as “Tiffany,” even though they weren’t from the company. Costco responded that it sold rings with Tiffany settings, which it claimed was a generic term. Tiffany responded that only it can make a “Tiffany setting.” That case is ongoing.
Costco had not filed a response to the Michael Kors complaint and could not be reached for comment at press time.