DIAMOND TIMES – Citing recognition of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for gemmological report services and education, a Belgian court unequivocally ordered AIG Belgium, operating as American International Gemological Laboratories and Antwerp International Gemological Laboratories, to immediately cease using ‘AIG’ alone or in conjunction with other marks, or face significant penalty payments. This definitive ruling applies to the use of the now-illegitimate marks used by ‘AIG’ relating to both education and gem grading.
“The global gem and jewellery trade and consumers around the world rely on the independence of GIA’s science-based gemmological reports and the industry-leading quality of GIA education,” said Jennifer Wilson, GIA General Counsel and Senior Vice President. “When others attempt to take advantage of GIA’s reputation and global recognition to create confusion in the trade and among consumers for financial gain, we will always respond with vigor and resolve.”
In handing down its decision, the court cited AIG’s ‘attempt to sail on the success of GIA’s marks’ and imposed penalty payments for prohibited use up to €500,000. GIA turned to the courts for relief in this case after several demands that AIG cease and desist in infringing on GIA’s protected marks and logos. Representatives of AIG in Belgium have been served with the decision; their period of appeal expired on 25th March. GIA is vigorously pursuing an adjacent case pertaining to AIG-related entities in Israel.
GIA’s trademarks, including ‘GIA,’ ‘Gemological Institute of America,’ the GIA seal and other logos are recognised and protected throughout the world. As part of its consumer-protection mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewellery, GIA vigorously pursues any person or organisation who attempts to misappropriate GIA’s intellectual property and reputation.