It’s not an iceberg, but it is making waves around Titanic. It’s the Heart of the Ocean, the steamship-size pendant worn by Kate Winslet in the Oscar-winning film. The diamond-encrusted sapphire, a replica created by Asprey and modeled by Celine Dion at the Academy Awards, was sold at auction last month for $2.2 million to an anonymous buyer. But a couple of not-so-precious knockoffs are fighting it out for dominance in the hearts of fans. Herewith, the battle of the baubles:
On March 9, Twentieth Century Fox filed a trademark- and copyright-infringement suit against Suarez Corporation Industries, parent company of Ohio-based trinket peddler Lindenwold Fine Jewelers. For the last month or so, Lindenwold has been selling via mail order the Jewel of the Sea, an imitation Heart of the Ocean. Cost: $19.
Fox claims only official licensees can legally offer reproductions of the Heart necklace — as J. Peterman does, for $198. According to the Peterman ad copy, the ”authorized replica” is a ”fairly enormous heart-shaped blue faux 75-carat diamond solitaire.”
What Fox Says
Abandon ship! Although Lindenwold’s ads contain a disclaimer disassociating its Jewel from any film or studio (in print so tiny a court found it illegible), Fox complained the ads would cause confusion among fans and the very existence of the cheap imitation would ”taint the market.”
What Suarez says
”It is a different product,” says Steven Baden, the company’s general counsel. ”It is a different size and a different look, and they [J. Peterman] are 10 times higher in price than we are.”
On March 17, a federal judge dismissed Fox’s complaint and ruled that Lindenwold could fulfill its orders (Baden claims there were ”tens of thousands”). One week later, however, the studio successfully appealed — and another court date has been set for mid-April. In the interim, Lindenwold has been prevented from shipping Jewels to customers. ”We can’t see how this impacts their market,” says Baden. ”For those who want to spend $198, God bless them, and enjoy the necklace.”