EBay Wins Lengthy Trademark Battle Against Tiffany
Previous article written about eBay paying $61 million to Fashion Companies over sales of fake Good can be read here.
With the recent courtroom defeat of eBay, there is finally a reason for them to celebrate as they have won a lawsuit over Tiffany for the selling of counterfeit Tiffany items. The two lawsuits, the Tiffany lawsuit against eBay and the LVMH lawsuit against eBay seems quite similar. They are both lawsuits against eBay for selling counterfeit goods, but the result is $61 million different.
I am not too sure about the details of the lawsuit, but I find it very difficult for eBay to monitor or even know which items are real and which are fake.
On the heels of a $61 million loss to French luxury goods group LVMH, eBay on Monday secured a legal victory in its trademark battle with jeweler Tiffany.
The online auction site has been battling with the luxury jewelry retailer since 2004, when Tiffany sued eBay for allegedly allowing the sale of counterfeit Tiffany items.
Judge Richard Sullivan with the Southern District Court of New York rejected the idea that eBay is responsible for policing its site for fake Tiffany items.
"The court is not unsympathetic to Tiffany and other rights owners who have invested enormous resources in developing their brands, only to see them illicitly and efficiently exploited by others on the Internet," Sullivan wrote in his 66-page ruling [PDF]. "Nevertheless, the law is clear: it is the trademark owner's burden to police its mark, and companies like eBay cannot be held liable for trademark infringement based solely on their generalized knowledge that trademark infringement might be occurring on their websites."
EBay said the judge's decision was a "victory for consumers."
I personally would never buy these named brand goods on eBay. There is just no way for me to find out whether the items are legitimate or fake as I do not want to pay for counterfeit items.