News & Analysis as of

Southern District of New York Jury Orders Costco to Pay Tiffany & Co. $8.25 Million in Punitive Damages for Selling...

On October 5, 2016, a Southern District of New York jury ordered Costco Wholesale Corp. (“Costco”) to pay Tiffany & Co. (“Tiffany”) an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages for selling “Tiffany” engagement rings that...more

Choice-of-Law Rules Prevent Costco from Suing as Indirect Purchaser in California

In another development in the ongoing cathode ray tube (CRT) multidistrict litigation, Judge Tigar of the Northern District of California ruled that Costco could not recover any damages it sustained as an indirect purchaser...more

Deficient CEQA Guidelines Appendix F Energy Impacts Analysis Causes First District To Pull The Plug On Ukiah Costco Project EIR

In a partially published opinion filed June 21, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District reversed in part the Mendocino County Superior Court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the City of...more

A Tall Drink of Water: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Costco VitaRain Class Action on Plausibility and Causation Grounds

On May 5, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to dismiss, without leave to amend, a class action complaint alleging a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act against Costco for the...more

Federal Law Applies in Calculating Overtime on Flat Sum Bonuses

Paying employees a bonus may trigger the obligation to pay retroactive overtime. The good news is that Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California clarifies that it is lawful for California employers to use the...more

The Supreme Court's take on Kirtsaeng II will impact attorneys' fees decisions in copyright matters

The landmark copyright case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is back before the US Supreme Court, this time on the issue of the appropriate standard for determining whether to award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party....more

IP Newsflash - January 2016 #2

SUPREME COURT CASES - U.S. Supreme Court Will Review PTAB’s Claim Construction Standard - The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to review the claim construction standard used by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)...more

Defendants Summary Judgment Motion in In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation May Illuminate Policy Justifications Behind...

Earlier this month, defendants in the In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation moved to challenge the standing of major retailers to pursue damages claims under the Supreme Court’s 1977 Illinois Brick decision. LG...more

EEOC’S Lawsuit Against Costco to Proceed

Court Denies Warehouse Retailer's Attempts to Avoid Trial on Allegations Store Failed to Stop Customer from Stalking and Harassing Employee - CHICAGO - A federal district court judge ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment...more

When A Customer Harasses Your Employee – What Should You Do?

As an employer, what do you do when one of your employees reports being sexually harassed by a vendor? Easy, right? You call the vendor’s boss and say, “If you want to continue doing business with us, then you will not...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law: Spring 2015 - Vol. 13, Issue 4

Issues to Be Aware of When Seeking Trademark Protection - Trademarks are valuable tools for businesses since they allow a trademark holder to identify and distinguish its goods from those manufactured or sold by others....more

Tiffany and Co. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.: TIFFANY Mark Infringed by Costco’s Sales of “Tiffany” Rings

In a recent decision, Judge Swain of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the luxury retailer Tiffany and Co. (“Tiffany”), deciding that Costco Wholesale Corp. (“Costco”), the largest...more

When Transparency Is Not Enough: Class Action Litigation Under California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act

Passed in 2010, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act has a worthy aim: requiring retailers and manufacturers doing big business in California to disclose what measures, if any, they are taking to ensure their...more

Yet ANOTHER Disappointed “Additional Insured”

The retail giant Costco joined the ranks of disappointed “Additional Insureds” the other day in a California Court of Appeals case, Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Ins. Co. Ltd., which left Costco and...more

Food and beverage industry target of new supply chain composition and disclosure suits. Are you covered?

As if risks relating to product recalls, product labeling, and food contamination were not enough, the food and beverage industry now faces potential liability in connection with the alleged composition of its global supply...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - October 2015

The Survey Says: Tiffany Is Not Generic for A Ring Setting - Last month, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment to Tiffany & Co. on its trademark infringement claim against Costco Wholesale...more

Tiffany & Company v. Costco Wholesale: Tiffany is far from Generic

On September 9, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Costco was willfully infringing Tiffany & Co.’s trademarks by selling diamond engagement rings bearing the renowned...more

Is Tiffany’s Major Victory Short-Lived?

On September 8, Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled on summary judgment that Costco Wholesale Corp. had willfully infringed Tiffany & Co.’s trademark by selling engagement rings using the Tiffany name. Frankly, the infringement...more

The Survey Says: TIFFANY Is Not Generic for a Ring Setting

Last week, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment to Tiffany & Co. on its trademark infringement claim against Costco Wholesale Corporation for selling rings advertised under the TIFFANY mark. Tiffany &...more

Five on Friday: Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

There continue to be regular developments in the business and human rights field that warrant attention from both companies and their stakeholders. New legislation and regulation, shifting policy positions, and developments...more

Costco Eats Crow for Its Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. is now arguably the world’s best known jeweler. The company claims to have introduced the first-ever mail-order catalog in the United States, the Blue Book®. Tiffany...more

Blog: Class Action Charges Misrepresentation In Policies And Disclosures Regarding Slave Labor In Supply Chain

As discussed in this Bloomberg article, Costco and some of its suppliers are facing class action litigation alleging that Costco misled consumers about the use of slave labor and human trafficking in its supply chain for the...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2015

Employee's Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A "Disability" - Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) - Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical...more

California Appellate Court Holds Employer Must Withhold Taxes on Back Pay

On June 26, 2015, a California appellate court rendered a precedential opinion that should hopefully put to rest the issue of whether an employer must withhold taxes on settlements or judgments made to former employees in...more

Wet Wipes Manufacturer Must Back Up Its Flushing Claims (And Not Consumers’ Plumbing)

On May 18, 2015, the FTC announced a settlement with Nice-Pak Products, Inc., concerning claims that its moist wipes are “flushable,” “break apart after being flushed,” and are “safe” for sewer and septic systems. Nice-Pak...more

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