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Jewelers Can’t Scratch ‘Brilliant Diamonds’ Tag

AKRON, Ohio (CN) - A federal judge refused to enjoin Zale's from saying it produces the "world's most brilliant diamonds," finding that the slogan does not irreparably harm competitors.

Sterling Jewelers Inc., which operates Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry stores, challenged the contention in the Northern District Court of Ohio.

It said Zale Corp. used false and deceptive advertising in claiming that "its Celebration Fire diamonds are the most brilliant diamonds in the world, are more brilliant than all other diamonds in the world, or are proven by competent and reliable evidence to be the most brilliant diamonds in the world or more brilliant than all other diamonds in the world."

U.S. District Court Judge John Adams heard testimony from both parties in December, and determined that Sterling Jewelers "has failed to show the likelihood of irreparable injury if the court were to deny the requested injunction."

"Injunctive relief is only available when legal remedies are shown to be inadequate. plaintiff has failed to establish that it has no legal remedy to make it whole," Adams wrote. "At most, plaintiff argued that defendant's marketing campaign provided competition and resulted in taking an unfair portion of their market share. The court concludes that this damage would be calculable and thus there is no need for a preliminary injunction."

Sterling also failed to show that Zale's claim dupes consumers into believing the Celebration Fire diamonds are scientifically superior to other diamonds.

"Setting aside the fact that it is unlikely that plaintiff has standing to pursue this claim, once again, these customers could be made whole through monetary damages," Adams wrote. "In effect, all of the evidence presented by plaintiff suggests that its harm, at most, would be lost sales and possibly lost customers - both items that could be remedied through an award of monetary damages."

According to its 2012 annual report, Zale's earned $1.9 billion last year, an increase of more than 7 percent from 2011.

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