NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) – Cartier sued Tiffany & Co on Monday, accusing its luxury rival of stealing trade secrets concerning its substantial-finish jewellery from an worker it lured absent in December, in a sign level of competition in the speedy-rising jewellery classification is heating up.
In accordance to a grievance filed in a New York state courtroom in Manhattan, Tiffany employed an underqualified junior manager away to learn much more about Cartier’s “Substantial Jewelry” collection, where pieces commonly price $50,000 to $10 million.
Cartier, a unit of Switzerland’s Richemont SA , identified as Tiffany’s employing of Megan Marino a determined bid to revive its have significant jewelry device following it was remaining in “disarray” following a number of departures, reflecting Tiffany’s “disturbing tradition of misappropriating competitive information.”
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According to courtroom papers, Tiffany appeared to pin ultimate blame on Marino by firing her immediately after just 5 weeks.
In an affidavit accompanying the grievance, Marino said Tiffany was “extra fascinated in hiring me as a supply of information than as a Significant Jewelry supervisor.”
Cartier also accused Tiffany, owned by luxurious merchandise team LVMH (LVMH.PA), of allowing a just lately hired previous Cartier government perform on a large jewellery venture termed the “Blue E book” irrespective of her six-month non-compete arrangement.
Contacted by Reuters, Tiffany stated in a assertion: “We deny the baseless allegations and will vigorously protect ourselves.”
The lawsuit seeks an injunction necessitating that Tiffany return and not use stolen trade strategies, plus unspecified damages.
Cartier claimed in a assertion: “Cartier absolutely respects the rights of rivals to pursue their professional aims. In this circumstance, even so, Tiffany’s business ambition crossed the line between the standard course of enterprise and unfair opposition.”
Bernstein analyst Luca Solca claimed he considered LVMH was in fact in the process of turning out to be a contender for category management versus Richemont.
“Branded jewelry – immediately after the Tiffany acquisition – has reworked from an oligopoly to a duopoly. Tiffany has a lot of option to revive its fortunes,” Solca reported in an emailed assertion.
On Jan. 19, Richemont reported potent demand from customers for jewelry and watches following a trough earlier in the coronavirus pandemic boosted quarterly profits by 32%.
Profits at Richemont’s jewellery manufacturers Cartier, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels rose 38%. read through more
The case is Cartier v Tiffany and Co, New York Point out Supreme Court docket, New York County.
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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, further reporting by Silke Koltrowitz in Zurich Modifying by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis
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