De Beers Wins Rights to 'Millennium’ Phrase It’s the kind of last-minute hitch that can foil even the best-laid plans. Just as De Beers was about to sell its Millennium “branded” diamonds, luxury goods dealer Alfred Dunhill announced it would contest ownership of the phrase “Millennium diamonds” in court. In 1980, Dunhill trademarked use of the word “millennium” for clocks, watches, and jewelry. The company’s lawyers argued that De Beers’ diamonds fall into the jewelry segment. De Beers planned to take its case to the English High Court, but attorneys for the two sides worked out a deal. A press release says De Beers has “taken a license” for the use of the Millennium mark. But spokesman Andrew Lamont says the company isn’t paying Dunhill anything. “It’s quite an ambitious approach to try and patent the word 'millennium,’ ” he says. “It’s like

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