Tiffany Smacks eBay Over Counterfeit Sales

    November 14, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

One of the most exclusive brands on the planet considers eBay an enabler of sales of thousands of fake Tiffany items, which Tiffany considers trademark infringement.

Tiffany first complained about eBay’s inaction on the trademark issue in their 2004 lawsuit. Citing examples of their trademark registration and use going all the way back to 1868, Tiffany said the unauthorized goods defraud people who buy them on eBay, based on the brand name.

At the time, eBay issued a blanket denial of Tiffany’s claims, even those where Tiffany attached copies of eBay landing pages showing listings for Tiffany-branded products.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog said the case is now underway in New York:

It looks like the case will come down to knowledge. EBay will be held liable if Tiffany can prove that the Web site knew that a particular listing infringed a trademark. Based on its court filings, it looks like eBay will argue that even if they had the ability to monitor all of its listings, they still have no way of knowing when a listing violates a trademark.

Judge Richard Sullivan in New York will have to decide if eBay ignored Tiffany’s trademarks showing up on the site, making eBay liable for contributing to trademark infringement.