A chain of small costume jewelry stores found in Valley malls is being sued by fashion giant Chanel, Inc., over alleged counterfeit items.
The lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, states that Tinkerbell stores are stealing Chanel's trademark and earning rights by selling the fake goods.
The New York-based Chanel sued a Chinese woman earlier this year for similar alleged offenses, and the new lawsuit has a generic feel. Chanel, no doubt tired of seeing cheap knock-offs of its products, has probably had a few of these lawsuits over the years. (There seems to be no shortage of potential lawsuit targets on the Internet.)
We left a message for Tinkerbell's president, Hyungsong Pak, but didn't hear back.
In the meantime, we called a couple of the stores and asked if they carried "Chanel" products.
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"We have Chanel lookalike, but we don't have Chanel," says one sales girl at the Desert Sky Mall location.
A woman who answered the phone at the Fiesta Mall location says the store carries earrings with a Chanel logo -- which aren't made by Chanel.
Chanel's looking to stop Tinkerbell from selling the offensive items, and also wants punitive damages that could add up to millions of dollars.
If the Tinkerbell stores manage to survive, we assume it will only be a matter of time before Disney comes after them for the name.