Sterling Denied Injunction Against Zale Diamond Claims

Round one goes to Zale.

On Jan. 24, an Ohio federal judge denied Sterling Jewelers’ request for an injunction that would have prevented Zale Corp. from promoting its Celebration Fire diamond as the “most brilliant diamond in the world.”

Sterling had filed suit against Zale on Nov. 13, calling its rival’s claims of greater brilliance for the diamond brand “false and deceptive,” and seeking an immediate prohibition against Zale repeating the assertion in its advertising. Zale, meanwhile, argued that the “most brilliant” claim was backed up by independent laboratory tests.

The court ruled that Sterling had not demonstrated that if it didn’t receive an injunction it would face an “irreparable injury.” The judge added that, if it was proven that Zale’s advertising campaign had hurt Sterling’s sales, any damages could be recovered down the line.

The ruling did not touch on the merits of either side’s arguments in the underlying claim.

Sterling spokesman David Bouffard tells JCK: “In today’s ruling, the Court held that any harm done to Sterling or consumers by Zales’ alleged false advertising can be compensated by monetary damages, and therefore immediate injunctive relief is not necessary.  The case is now proceeding.  We continue to believe in the strength of the merits of our case and we are moving forward according to the Court’s schedule.”

Says Zale spokeswoman Roxane Barry:”We are pleased that the court denied Signet’s attempt to stop our Celebration Fire marketing campaign.”

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