Tungsten Wedding Bands Lawsuit
In a recently filed court case involving the manufacture of tungsten wedding bands, jewelry manufacturer Quality Gold, Inc. is attempting to turn the tables on fellow jewelry designer Trent West. On December 19, 2011, QGI filed a declaratory action in the U.S. Southern District of Ohio asking the Court to either hold that a patent owned by West for the manufacture of tungsten rings is either invalid or that QGI is not in violation of the patent.
In filing suit, QGI appears to be firing back at West for continuing to send QGI "cease and desist" letters regarding QGI's manufacture of tungsten rings. It is not uncommon in the jewelry manufacturing business for one company to feel like another company is copying its designs. It is less common for the party accused of copying the design to file suit against the purported "victim." In this case, the dispute between QGI and West has taken place over several years and involves more than one patent.
Why all the Fuss over Tungsten?
Tungsten is one of the hardest materials used to make wedding bands. Once people discovered how difficult it is to scratch, it quickly became a popular substitute for gold, silver and other metals traditionally used for wedding bands. Other alternative materials include palladium and titanium. It is also possible to engrave tungsten bands with gold or silver to give it a different look.