Marketing Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
Cartier sues Tiffany and Co. for stealing trade secrets

Cartier sues Tiffany and Co. for stealing trade secrets

share on

Cartier has filed a lawsuit against Tiffany and Co. for allegedly stealing its trade secrets. According to the lawsuit, its investigation led to the discovery of "Tiffany’s disturbing culture of misappropriating competitive information".

Tiffany's senior and mid-level management allegedly used quick money and title advancement to lure an under-qualified employee, only listed as Marino, away from Cartier. Upon hire, Tiffany's president for the Americas met with the employee to obtain "highly valuable, detailed confidential information" that would foster unfair competition.

Furthermore, Tiffany had disregarded Marino's confidentiality and non-solicitation contractual obligations to Cartier by asking her to solicit talent from Cartier. During Marino's tenure at Tiffany, both its president and VP for merchandising repeatedly and knowingly solicited and received confidential Cartier information from her. They cavalierly documented these illegal solicitations were documented in emails and text messages that readily approve illegal conduct, including outreach to current Cartier employees for highly valuable confidential information.

For instance, Marino said she learnt on 13 January that a former Cartier employee had been hired by Tiffany.  While she was under a non-compete restriction that prevented her from working for Tiffany for a period of six months, that former Cartier AVP was already helping Tiffany with Blue Book, Tiffany’s high jewellery collection and related events. Marino was also later told to seek out Cartier retail price pointes from employees still working there. 

Cartier claimed in the lawsuit that when it sent written notices to Tiffany the first three times, the latter chose to "ignore, deflect and deride Cartier’s efforts to protect its assets". After Cartier refused to accept half-answers and poorly investigated assurances, Tiffany took action by firing Marino for failing to disclose her misconduct while no action was taken against Tiffany’s senior leaders who pressured her to engage in it. 

The lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring that Tiffany return and not use stolen trade secrets, plus unspecified damages. Cartier has also filed a claims lawsuit against Marino for disclosing its confidential information and trade secrets despite signing a non-disclosure agreement during her employment at the company.  

Cartier is a unit of Richemont, which posted strong sales during the third quarter ended 31 December 2021, up 32% at constant exchange rates and by 35% at actual exchange rates. Sales for its jewellery unit grew 38%. The group also saw double-digit sales growth across all regions, channels, and business areas. The group witnessed "outstanding performance" of the Americas, Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa, while Europe and Japan resumed growth and were up by double digits.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

Related articles:



share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window