Is Tiffany Generic?


Genericide kills trademark rights.  It has been alleged that “Tiffany setting,” encompassing the famous TIFFANY mark owned by Tiffany and Company (“Tiffany”), is merely a generic term for a type of engagement ring.

You may recall my DuetsBlog post regarding the lawsuit that Tiffany filed on Valentine’s Day against Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”) to protect its trademark with respect to engagement rings. Costco brought the generic counterclaim in response.

Although the court denied Tiffany’s motion for summary judgment, this does not mean “Tiffany setting” is generic.  Because of the procedural posture, the evidence was taken in favor of Costco.  The court explained that there were issues of fact.  This does not mean that the court was supporting Costco’s claim that the mark is generic.

A trademark may be found generic when it becomes synonymous with all products of a given type.  Examples of trademarks that became generic include “escalator,” “zipper,” “aspirin,” “laundromat” and “yo-yo.”

Do you think “Tiffany setting” is generic?

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.