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YURMAN DESIGNS v. A.R. MORRIS JEWELERS

March 4, 1999

YURMAN DESIGNS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
A.R. MORRIS JEWELERS, L.L.C. AND DOE I, WHETHER SINGULAR OR PLURAL, THE ENTITY OR THOSE ENTITIES WHO OR THAT IS A PARTICIPANT IN THE YURMAN AUTHORIZED RETAILER PROGRAM BELIEVED TO HAVE SOLD YURMAN PRODUCTS TO A.R. MORRIS JEWELERS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweet, District Judge.

OPINION

Plaintiff Yurman Design Inc. ("Yurman") has moved for a preliminary injunction, pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to prohibit defendant A.R. Morris Jewelers, L.L.C. ("Morris") from: (i) continuing their attempts to "destroy" Yurman's Authorized Retailer Program, brand name and business reputation; (ii) soliciting, promoting and selling in an unauthorized manner DAVID YURMAN jewelry products; (iii) inducing Yurman's authorized retailers to breach their contractual agreements with Yurman; (iv) interfering with and intentionally harming Yurman's business relationships with its authorized retailers; (v) engaging in unfair competition activities; (vi) appropriating Yurman's proprietary interests; and (vii) intentionally harming Yurman without excuse or justification. Yurman also has moved for an order, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(d), 30(a), 33(a) and 34(b), permitting expedited discovery.

For the reasons set forth below, Yurman's motions are denied.

The Parties

Plaintiff Yurman is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York with its principal place of business located at 501 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022. Yurman is engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of fine jewelry.

Defendant Morris is a Delaware limited liability company located at 802 N. Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 19801.

Prior Proceedings

Yurman filed his complaint in this action on November 23, 1998, alleging unfair competition under the Trademark Laws of the United States, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq.; copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.; deceptive trade practices, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business relations and misappropriation under the laws of the State of New York.

Yurman filed the instant motion by order to show cause on November 24, 1998. Oral argument was heard on December 9, 1998, at which time the motion was deemed fully submitted.

Facts

More than eighteen years ago, David Yurman, a jewelry designer, and his wife Sybil, built the DAVID YURMAN brand name for their "unique, elegant, and creative jewelry products." (Yurman Decl. ¶ 4). Beginning in or about 1982, Yurman began designing, manufacturing, promoting, marketing and selling a line of jewelry products that incorporate a cable design together with other elements. Yurman is widely known for many signature collections such as, THE CABLE COLLECTION, THE HAMPTON CABLE COLLECTION and the VENETIAN COLLECTION. The CABLE COLLECTION for example, includes bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings. It is named for its cable design comprising solid sterling-silver or gold tubes twisted into a helix.

Since the introduction of its cable design, Yurman has spent enormous amounts of time, resources and effort to cultivate a solid relationship for producing jewelry of the finest design, materials and craftsmanship. Yurman has also spent more than a million dollars in advertising its jewelry products. According to Yurman, its name has become "nearly synonymous" with the cable motif. (Complaint ¶ 14).

To protect its jewelry designs and the integrity, good will, and business reputation, Yurman sought and received federal trademark registration for its brand name DAVID YURMAN and the names of its jewelry collections, copyright registrations for its original designs, and utility and design patents for its novel jewelry designs and inventions.


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