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U.S. judge turns down Sterling Jewelers action against Zale Corp ad campaign

U.S. judge turns down Sterling Jewelers action against Zale Corp ad campaign
A judge in Ohio has rejected a preliminary bid by Sterling Jewelers Inc. to stop an advertising campaign by Zale Corp., one of America's largest retail jewelry chains, regarding what it claims are superior brightness in its diamonds.
Sterling Jewelers Inc., a unit of of Signet Jewelers Ltd., one of Zale's leading rivals, went to court in November charging that Zale was carrying out false advertising in its claim that its Celebration Fire diamonds were the "most brilliant diamonds in the world."

Sterling told the court that in tests it carried out, it was able to show that the diamonds in its jewelry are just as bright as those sold by Zale.

In an initial move, Sterling in November had asked the judge to approve a preliminary injunction in order stop to Zale Corp's advertising campaign as the holiday sales season began.

However, District Judge John R. Adams turned down Sterling's demand for a preliminary injunction. He wrote in his judgment that Sterling had not shown that Zale's adverts would bring about irreparable harm even if it eventually won at trial.

"Its harm, at most, would be lost sales and possibly lost customers – both items that could be remedied through an award of monetary damages," the judge wrote in his judgment.

While Zale Corp said it was pleased with the judge's decision, Sterling said its lawsuit would go forward.

"We continue to believe in the strength of the merits of our case, and we are moving forward according to the court's schedule," said David A. Bouffard, a spokesman for Signet.

A trial date for the case has yet to be set.

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