Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish troops to go further into Syria, says foreign minister

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

EBay wins counterfeit trial against Tiffany

Latest update : 2008-07-15

A New York court found Monday that internet auction website eBay was not "liable for contributory trademark infringement" in a dispute against luxury retailer Tiffany. In France, luxury giant LVMH just won a similar case against eBay.

Internet auction giant eBay cannot be held liable for trademark infringement for counterfeit items sold through its website, a US judge ruled Monday in a case brought by luxury retailer Tiffany.

US District Judge Richard Sullivan in New York found that "eBay is not liable for contributory trademark infringement" for the sale of counterfeit Tiffany silver jewelry on its website.

"The standard is not whether eBay could reasonably anticipate possible infringement, but rather whether eBay continued to supply its services to sellers when it knew or had reason to know of infringement by those sellers," the judge wrote in a 66-page opinion.

The judge said eBay, after being informed by Tiffany of counterfeit items being sold on the website, "immediately removed those listings" but refused to monitor and "preemptively remove listings of Tiffany jewelry before the listings became public."

"The law does not impose liability for contributory trademark infringement on eBay for its refusal to take such preemptive steps," the judge said.

"The result of the application of this legal standard is that Tiffany must ultimately bear the burden of protecting its trademark."

In its own statement, the California firm said, "Today's decision is a victory for consumers. The ruling confirms that eBay acted reasonably and has adequate procedures in place to effectively address counterfeiting. The ruling appropriately establishes that protecting brands and trademarks is the primary burden of rights owners."

The case is similar to others in the United States and elsewhere on the liability of online sellers for copyright infringement.

In France, a court last month ordered eBay to pay nearly 40 million euros (63 million dollars) in damages to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury goods.

The Paris commercial court ruled in favor of six LVMH brands and also barred eBay from selling four perfume brands -- Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain -- on its websites.

EBay, which claims some 276 million members worldwide, is also being sued by French cosmetics giant L'Oreal.

Tiffany filed suit in 2004 alleging infractions dating back to 2003.

The luxury retailer earlier this month submitted a letter requesting that the US court recognize the French court's June 30 decision but subsequently withdrew the request.

Date created : 2008-07-15

COMMENT(S)