Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Court favors eBay in Tiffany trademark suit

EBay has scored a victory in a trademark infringement suit brought by luxury jewelry house Tiffany and co, which alleges that counterfeits of its goods are being improperly sold through the auction site, Women's Wear Daily (WWD) has reported.

Federal judge Richard Sullivan ruled in favor of eBay, entering the decision at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, saying that it is the trademark owner's burden to police its mark. The ruling said that Tiffany failed to prove claims that eBay was liable for trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising and unfair competition for facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.

According to WWD, eBay argued that it is simply a service connecting sellers with buyers, and that since it never holds the counterfeit goods in its own possession, it cannot be held responsible for their sale.

Just two weeks ago, a French court ordered eBay to pay LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton 40 million euros (about $63 million), ruling that eBay did not do enough to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods on its site.

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