Cartier has sued LVMH jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. for stealing trade secrets pertaining to its most exclusive products. In the lawsuit, which was filed in New York on Monday, February 28, Cartier accuses Tiffany of stealing the trade secrets in question by way of a former employee. Tiffany, specifically, is alleged to have “hired away” junior manager Megan Marino as part of a larger effort to embolden their high jewelry-focused division.
The complaint, which also names Marino, who is accused of downloading confidential Cartier information before leaving the company and later sharing it with fellow Tiffany employees, goes so far as to proclaim that Tiffany & Co. “used quick money and title advancement to lure away an under-qualified employee from a successful competitor, knowing she lacked the experience and knowledge to perform a high jewelry manager role.”
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“Immediately upon hire, Tiffany’s president for the Americas met with this junior manager for the express purpose of obtaining information about Cartier, openly asking for highly valuable, detailed confidential information that would foster unfair competition.” Tiffany & Co. denied Cartier’s claims and characterized them as “baseless allegations.”
According to lawsuit documents, Marino is reported to have been fired from her new Tiffany job after the brand’s legal team was made aware of the situation. Meanwhile, Marino said in an affidavit that Tiffany was allegedly “more interested” in bringing her aboard the team as an information source than as a legitimate manager.
The legal battle comes in the midst of an ongoing rebrand for Tiffany & Co., which has sought to elevate and rejuvenate its image under LVMH’s leadership.
This is the second time in recent memory that Cartier has taken legal action against Tiffany for attempting to steal company secrets. Back in 2014, a former advertising executive was accused of trying to get her former assistant to join her at Tiffany and bring along restricted information.
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