By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
An Amory jewelry business is in the legal cross hairs of an Indiana-based business, which aims to stop sales of what it claims are knock-offs of its well-known bracelets and other jewelry.
Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc. last week filed a lawsuit against Michael Tyree, doing business as Lisa’s Jewelry & Gifts and Benche Jeweler in Amory.
The 45-page legal action is similar to three others filed in Mississippi and three in Georgia during the past year claiming Ronaldo’s trademark bracelets have been counterfeited and the copyrights infringed upon.
All the lawsuits show “John Does 1-99” also listed as defendants, although their identities are not stated.
When contacted by the Daily Journal, Tyree sounded surprised to hear about the lawsuit and said if anything wrong has happened, “We did it in good faith.”
He also says his supplier is a former business partner of Ronaldo and that they parted company on bad terms.
He is cited specifically for alleged knock-offs of Ronaldo’s “Spring Time” and “Embrace” bracelets, which sell for more than $100 each retail.
The only Mississippi case closed so far – versus Ben Gilbert Inc. in McComb – shows Ronaldo won an “agreed” permanent injunction for Gilbert’s Elise Jewelry store to halt selling or displaying jewelry it claims was made by Ronaldo.
No information is available on what else the settlement includes.
Last February, a posting on Ronaldo’s Facebook pages claims the company “just received our first judgment and settlement against a knock-off jewelry supplier in Mississippi.”
The post characterizes the development as “a precedent for our lawsuits and cease & desist demands that are pending,” saying Ronaldo “expects many more victories.”
Federal court records show other Mississippi defendants in pending lawsuits include Running Wild Wholesale LLC and Turkoyz Inc. of Hinds County.
On April 14, both sides in the Turkoyz lawsuit agreed to an injunction but Judge Henry Wingate has yet to sign off on wrapping up the case.
Monday, Ronaldo’s attorneys asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order against Tyree and his businesses.