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Mon July 14 2008 15:50:43

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay won a lawsuit filed by Tiffany & Co. over counterfeit items on its site (see today's AuctionBytes article). The 66-page opinion from the Judge is worth skimming and contains information about eBay and its anti-counterfeiting efforts.

For instance, eBay told the Court it has invested as much as $20 million each year on tools to promote trust and safety on its website. One quarter of eBay's workforce of roughly 16,000 employees is devoted to trust and safety.

As I pointed out in the article, an interesting nugget in the Tiffany ruling is that the court concluded that eBay is analogous to a flea market, "like those in Hard Rock Café and Fonavisa, and that it is inappropriate to compare eBay to an online classified ad service." Could this come back to haunt eBay in future litigation?

Here's a link to the ruling in a PDF file (half a meg).

Update 7/14/08: eBayInk posted a video interview with eBay's Rob Chesnut on YouTube:




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: RichardC

Mon Jul 14 16:57:56 2008

There is a brief sigh of relief in San Jose, before the next storm appears.

Any word on Tiffany's response?? I don't they will take this lying down?

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jul 14 17:17:58 2008

Disappointing to say the least!

Just sit back and watch the flood counterfeits re appear and indiscrimate VERO removals.

This problem may have to be solved statutorily at the state or federal level preferably at the federal level.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: susan

Mon Jul 14 18:39:18 2008

JOKE OF THE DAY  Fleecebay says they have roughly 1/4 of their 16,000 employees devoted to trust and safety. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Those so called trust and safety employees know less about trust and safety than the newbie on fleecebay. What a joke.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: exposingtheplayers

Mon Jul 14 19:22:52 2008

Rob Chestnut is full of it. I don't know how he could say what he did and keep a straight face. I guess when they pay you the big bucks, you can say anything and sound like you mean it.

Fleecebay is pretty accurate.

Interchange it with Farcebay and you have it nailed.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Mon Jul 14 21:37:35 2008

OOOOHHH!! so they ARE a FLEA market? When it's convenient, huh?

Better not leak that to BUY.COM. They wouldn't be too pleased knowing their listings are in a flea market.

Anyone see the NY TIMES article?

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: Patricia

Mon Jul 14 21:43:48 2008

This makes me very sad because ebay truly deserved to lose this one even more than the French case.  Don't know what the courts were thinking of - unless they felt it would make some impact on the economy - but that doesn't hold much water either.  Well, this will make and arrogant and pompous company even more so...if that's at all possible.

www.ACEOart.net

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: eBay: Fraud Central

Mon Jul 14 21:49:01 2008

All this does is reinforce eBay's reputation as a place to buy knock-offs and rip-offs. Not a real good reputation to have for an online "venue", is it?

They do precious little to police the site, and if they say otherwise, they are lying through their collective teeth. They are FULL OF IT if they say otherwise.

And I do mean FULL OF IT!!!!

There is a good reason why my user ID here is

eBay: FRAUD CENTRAL

It's the most fraud-ridden e-commerce site on the net, hands down. And now it looks like it's going to get even WORSE, if you can imagine that!

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: tj

Mon Jul 14 23:48:48 2008

I feel this will actually have a negative impact on eBay as more & more brand name labels will police eBay themselves (not by veRo) and force eBay to remove items…it might work out well but only time will tell.

eBay can be seen to be playing to both sides of the fence now in their continual double talk…guess all the lobbying and McCain connections did pay off

This will not do eBay any favors as people are wise to what eBay really is now…a money pit

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: TexasTiffany4sALE

Tue Jul 15 00:32:45 2008

Gosh, maybe everyone should clue Tiffany in on what eBay-Paypal DOES with the counterfeit Tiffany returns..and that whole ball of wax.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: kohathi

Tue Jul 15 05:23:51 2008

tj tj tj.... Whatever are you talking about???

The only way any brand name as ever been policed is by themselves. It's been that way since TM & CR law was established by the ancient Greeks. (Or whoever it was.) That's what VerO is for. The IP holders have ALWAYS forced ebay to remove items. One at a time, of course.

I've yet to see anyone say what ebay should do. Ignore the First Sale Doctrine and allow Tiffany and others to decide that nobody can use their name to sell on ebay? Ok, but why should ebay be the only one?

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: dimes

Tue Jul 15 08:58:10 2008

This certainly sends a message to consumers - if you're looking for authentic Tiffany, don't buy it on eBay!

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: WW

Tue Jul 15 09:34:56 2008

TexasTiffany4sALE,
''Gosh, maybe everyone should clue Tiffany in on what eBay-Paypal DOES with the counterfeit Tiffany returns..and that whole ball of wax.''


That may be one way for Tiffany to go.  First list a known counterfeit, buy it, then return it and follow the path.

It would be a laugh to catch eBay/PayPal recirculating counterfeit merchandise.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: paypaltrouble

Tue Jul 15 09:41:26 2008

Yeah Right!
We police the site and take them down.
AND THEN WE SEND IT TO LIQUIDATION.COM TO RESELL THEM AND MAKE THE MONEY OURSELVES ON THE FAKE ITEM, INSTEAD OF THE SELLER MAKING THE MONEY.

Why did he leave that out?

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Tue Jul 15 10:22:08 2008

They mentioned this story on the local FOX TV morning show (NYC) during the short business news segment.

The reporter said that you should always assume designer items are fake, when you by them on eBay. Another host piped in to add that you're better off avoiding eBay all together and buying fake designer goods for even less on the street.

Ha ha - the media says eBay isn't even a good place to buy fake bags! Great publicity eBay! You should be very proud of your ''level playing field'' Pierre Omidyar.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Jul 15 11:54:00 2008

Ebay is not the only auction site selling fake handbags, jewelry, and perfumes! There are plenty of other online auctions where the same things are listed.

There has to be some responsibility that the buyer assumes, in determining the credibility of the seller, which basically means "let the buyer beware". And that's fair to say for anything ANY buyer might buy in any auction, live, or online.
The public, and the companies who produce the originals should also be involved in policing the fakes since it can happen anywhere, most likely through the eastern part of the hemisphere when the containers arrive at shipping ports.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: tj

Tue Jul 15 12:01:38 2008

@kohathi

Obviously my comments when straight over YOUR head..just think a little before making whako comments….I say clearly about veRo?

How many items have been pulled BY EBAY..not  by veRo,not by manufactures BUT by eBay..because they   they are IP infringement …I’ve had 100’s over the years

If this make the MANUFACTURES of branded items RESPONSIBLE then that’s a good thing as they must prove it under the D.M.A. …..eBay know sh#t about IP, trademarks etc etc

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: tj

Tue Jul 15 12:03:59 2008

the word THINK is missing between the two they & they (from above post)

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: kohathi

Tue Jul 15 13:08:03 2008

tj

When ebay does one of those take-downs what       do they tell you in the email? They say they don't do any IP enforcement on their own. Could they be lying? I've conversed with hundreds of sellers over the years with take-downs and invariably there's a VerO involved or something like keyword spamming.

What do you do when they kill a listing for something you absolutely know  is genuine?

Think before making wacko comments? What fun is that????

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: Feral Roo

Tue Jul 15 19:24:52 2008

The spin doctors, benders of truth and justice just never stop at greedbay, give them to us Aussies we are after their bu$$s. They picked on the wrong country to try their draconian paypal only rot . Keep you eyes on the Aussie ebay forums.

eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case   eBay Wins Tiffany Counterfeiting Case

by: Kathy_The_Green_Fish

Wed Jul 16 12:13:57 2008

Quick question....If so many eBay staff work in Trust and safety, how come none of us can get them on the phone, neither could my store rep, or her supervisor?

eBay told the court about 1/4 of their 16,000 staff works in Trust and safety

What like 4,000?  And not one knows how to use a telephone?

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