August 17, 2001
Janel Russell and David Yurman Protect Their Brands
Two designers of popular collections have drawn their lines in the sand part of a growing movement to defend brands.
On Aug. 10, Janel Russell Designs, a jewelry and licensing company in St. Paul, MN, won a lawsuit against Museum Reproductions for copyright infringement of Russell's well-known Mother and Child (R) designs. A jury returned the verdict of guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson of Minnesota's 8th District. The articles in question were from a Museum Reproductions jewelry line called "Shona Mother and Child."
Janel Russell Designs licenses the Mother and Child Jewelry line throughout the world. The U.S. line has been exclusively distributed by Kirchner Corp., Minneapolis, MN, since 1981. (Russell also licenses a Janel Russell Heart Collection through Carla Corp., East Providence, RI.)
Yurman Design Inc., New York City, will protect its brand by closing its account at Haltom's, which sold David Yurman jewelry in four locations in Texas. Annual sales of Yurman jewelry by Haltom's exceeded $1 million. Yurman says Haltom's transshipped David Yurman jewelry to unauthorized retailer Diamonds & Time of Houston, TX. Transshipping, the distribution of product to unauthorized retailers, is specifically prohibited in every one of Yurman's authorized retailer agreements.
"Our commitment to our authorized retailers is based on trust and integrity. We can never lose the elements of trust and good faith," says David Yurman, designer and CEO. Yurman says it will continue to take action against any of its 250 authorized retailers who breach its agreement.
- by Peggy Jo Donahue