Kerry jeweller sues rivals over alleged passing off of products

Brian de Staic claims shop opened by former employees is piggybacking on his success

Brian de Staic is seeking a High Court injunction preventing AJ Bácéir Teoranta, trading as Dingle Goldsmiths, infringing his copyright and passing off its products under the name Ogham Stone Collection

Brian de Staic is seeking a High Court injunction preventing AJ Bácéir Teoranta, trading as Dingle Goldsmiths, infringing his copyright and passing off its products under the name Ogham Stone Collection

 

A jeweller whose work has been worn by Hollywood stars and celebrities, including actors Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts, claims a rival is passing off products similar to those which he created over the last 40 years.

Brian de Staic, a jeweller, artist and goldsmith who runs a number of shops in Cork and Kerry, says a shop opened by two former employees in Dingle is selling products similar to the “Ogham Stone Collection” of which he claims to be the original creator.

He is seeking a High Court injunction preventing AJ Bácéir Teoranta, trading as Dingle Goldsmiths, infringing his copyright and passing off its products under the name Ogham Stone Collection.

The court heard that lawyers for the defendant had, in correspondence, disputed the passing off claim.

The rival shop is seven doors away from Mr de Staic’s outlet on Green Street, Dingle.

He claims it is piggybacking on the success his shop has built up over the years, particularly in relation to the US tourist market and tour buses visiting the town.

He says he has been involved in attending trade fairs in the US for 18 years and in building up close relationships with organisers bringing tour buses to Kerry. Each tour group which visits the town spends between €5,000 and €10,000, he adds.

Majella Twomey, for Mr de Staic, got permission from Ms Justice Caroline Costello on Wednesday to serve short notice of injunction proceedings on the defendant company. The application was made on a one-side only represented basis and the case returns next week.

Registered

In an affidavit, Mr de Staic said he opened his first shop in Dingle in 1981 and his collection of Ogham Stone jewellery has grown over the years incorporating new designs and different types of jewellery. All his jewellery has the “BdeS” stamp which is registered in the Assay Office in Dublin.

He has been commissioned to design and create a number of distinctive pieces of work over the years including chains of office for Kerry County Council, the International Police Association and the Gregory Peck Award for the Dingle Film Festival. He also says he has won many awards for his work.

Celebrities

Many celebrities, including TV personalities, film stars, and national and international figureheads, have owned and/or worn his jewellery, he says. They have included Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Paul Newman, President Michel D Higgins and former presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese.

The directors of the defendant company, Jerry and Aideen Bácéir, were employed by Brian de Staic Teo for a number of years. In April last year, they opened their own shop trading under the name “Dingle Goldsmiths”.

Copying

Mr de Staic says he is known within the community as Seodóir an Daingin which he says means “The Dingle Goldsmith”.

He says the defendant is copying the Ogham Stone Collection and advertising and selling its products in a manner almost identical to how he markets his products. This amounts to passing off and causes confusion in the minds of the public, he claims. There have already been instances of people who bought or were about to buy his jewellery who believed his and the rival’s business were connected, he claims. While requests were made by Mr de Staic’s solicitors to the defendant to cease producing and selling jewellery under the Ogham Stone Collection brand, it had failed or neglected to do so, it is claimed.