Wednesday 18 July 2018

Well-known jeweller to the stars claims former employees are passing off products

Fans of his work include Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Paul Newman, President Michael D Higgins and former presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese

Jeweller Brian de Staic has worked with Hollywood celebrities such as Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise. Picture: Don MacMonagle
Jeweller Brian de Staic has worked with Hollywood celebrities such as Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise. Picture: Don MacMonagle

Tim Healy

A jeweller whose work has been worn by Hollywood stars and celebrities claims a rival is passing off products similar to those he has created over the past 40 years.

Brían de Staíc, 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, Co Kerry, is selling products similar to the "Ogham Stone Collection" which he says he is the original creator of.

He is seeking a High Court injunction preventing the rival, AJ Bácéir Teoanta, trading as Dingle Goldsmiths, from 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 his outlet in Green Street, Dingle.  Mr de Staíc says it is piggybacking on the success his shop has built up over the years particularly in relation to the US tourist market and the tour buses which visit the town.

He says he has been involved in attending trade fairs in the US for 18 years and building up close relationships with organisers bringing tour buses to Kerry. 

He says each tour group which visits the town spends between €5,000 and €10,000.

Majella Twomey BL, for Mr de Staíc, was on Wednesday granted permission by Ms Justice Caroline Costello 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.

In an affidavit, Mr de Staíc says 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 Co 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.

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 Michael D Higgins and former presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese.

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

Mr de Staíc says he is known within the community as Seodóir and Daingin which he says means "The Dingle Goldsmith".

He says the defendant is copying the Ogham Stone Collection, advertising and selling its products in a manner almost identical to how he markets his products.  He says this amounts to passing off and causes confusion in the minds of the public.

He says there have already been instances of people who bought or were about to buy his jeweller who believed his and the rival's business were connected.

Requests  have been made by Mr de Staíc's solicitors to the defendant to cease producing and selling jewellery under the Ogham Stone Collection brand but it had failed or neglected to do so. 

Irish Independent

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