Diamonds by the Yard, Silver Teardrops, and Open Hearts

By Sara Alexandre [November 24th, 2012] 

Window Shopping at Tiffany's

For some of us, window shopping was the extent of our purchase power at Tiffany’s.  But when some of Elsa Peretti’s elegant and fluid jewelry became part of Tiffany’s collection at $250 and under, even modest incomes could afford to take part in the Tiffany tradition and bring home a magnificently crafted piece in a smart robin’s egg blue box.  Alas, recent reports have revealed that Peretti and Tiffany may be parting ways, eliciting many a frustrated sigh from aspiring plebeians everywhere.  

Elsa Peretti, whose acclaimed pieces have been featured at Tiffany & Co., for nearly four decades, is attempting to end her relationship with the luxury retail jeweler, according to an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The two sides cannot agree on a price concerning Tiffany’s recent bid to purchase the intellectual property rights of Peretti, according to the 8k report filed by Tiffany in advance of its first quarter earnings report this past Thursday. In the report, Tiffany stated, “If Tiffany ceases to have an exclusive license to use the Peretti Intellectual Property…operating results may be adversely affected.”  According to the filing, Tiffany stated it, “made a firm offer to Ms. Peretti in an amount that is based upon the value of the Peretti Intellectual Property to Tiffany.”

Peretti’s jewelry accounted for a significant portion in Tiffany’s net sales, 10 percent in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Since 1974, Tiffany has been the sole licensee for the intellectual property rights (Peretti Intellectual Property); and Peretti, 72, receives a royalty for Tiffany’s use of her property rights.

Both Peretti and Tiffany & Co., can terminate the agreement with written notice, and Peretti’s counsel have intimated that the artisan may consider exercising her right to do so if both sides cannot come to an agreement.  If Peretti terminates the license agreement, Tiffany’s rights would include use of Peretti Intellectual Property rights for six months; and after the 6-month period, an additional year to sell Peretti-designed pieces it has on hand or on order.

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