BuySafe Sues eBay over Trademark Infringement
By Ina Steiner
BuySafe filed a lawsuit against eBay in U.S. District Court for trademark infringement on November 9, 2006. The dispute centers on eBay's new "Buy safely" section on the Item page and whether the term causes shoppers to confuse the section with the BuySafe service, which guarantees BuySafe-bonded items for up to $25,000 and displays "BuySafe seals" on eBay Item pages.
BuySafe President and CEO Jeff Grass said the company's Intellectual Property attorneys felt eBay's use of the term "buy safely" infringed on BuySafe's registered trademark. He said BuySafe wants to reduce the confusion it creates for people shopping on eBay. "We have no desire to get into a legal tangle with eBay, but the BuySafe brand is one of the most important assets we have."
eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy said eBay uses the phrase "buy safely" in a descriptive manner. "Obviously we think it is totally baseless and we intend to fight it," he said of the lawsuit, adding that eBay has not yet been served.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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