Zales Ads Challenged, Injunction Barring Claims Denied
Zales Celebration Diamonds may or may not be the most brilliant diamonds in the world, as the company claims in ads and other marketing materials. But while a lawsuit challenging the claim winds its way through the courts, the judge overseeing the case has denied a request by the plaintiff -- competitor Sterling Jewelers -- for a preliminary injunction.
An injunction would have barred Zale Corp. from continuing to make the “most brilliant” claim about its diamonds, while the court case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio proceeds. Judge John R. Adams ruled that Sterling failed to demonstrate that it would suffer “irreparable harm” unless the injunction was granted.
In its initial complaint filed in November, Sterling asserted that Zale tested diamonds were sold by only a limited number of jewelry chains -- and none outside the U.S. That by definition, its claim was therefore deceptive.
By making the “most brilliant” claim, Sterling submitted, Zale had caused “immediate and irreparable injury to [Sterling], including plaintiff’s business, reputation and goodwill, for which there is no adequate remedy at law.”
But Judge Adams disagreed, ruling that the damage to Sterling “at most would be lost sales and lost customers -- both items that could be remedied through an award of monetary damages.” Thus, added Adams, Sterling had “fallen short of its burden to demonstrate a clear case of irreparable harm.”