July 14th, 2008, 10:05 AM #1
NYTimes article: Court Clears eBay in Sale of Counterfit Items
Hi. I friend of mine who reads the Chronicle, NYTimes and Wall St. Journal every single day told me about this article:
July 15, 2008
Court Clears eBay in Sale of Counterfeit Items
By BRAD STONE
EBay has scored an important victory against a legal nemesis.
In a long-awaited decision in a four-year-old trademark lawsuit against eBay brought by the jeweler Tiffany and Company, Judge Richard Sullivan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled Monday that the online retailer does not bear a legal responsibility to prevent its users from selling counterfeit items on its marketplace.
The decision in the closely watched case, which will likely be appealed by Tiffany, reaffirms that Internet companies do not have to actively filter their sites for copyrighted or trademarked material. Rather, they can rely on intellectual property-holders to monitor the sites, as long as the retailers take material down when rights-holders complain.
The ruling marks a dramatic turn in eBay’s recent courtroom fortunes and comes a week after a French judge ordered eBay to pay $60 million to the French luxury goods maker LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the maker of Louis Vuitton handbags. In April, a German appeals court ruled that eBay must take preventative measures against the sale of counterfeit Rolex watches.
Tiffany originally filed the trademark lawsuit against eBay in 2004, after conducting a study that found a majority of items purchased on eBay under the Tiffany’s brand were fakes. Lawyers for Tiffany argued that eBay directly profited from infringement of its trademark, while eBay’s lawyers countered that, just like YouTube or MySpace, it was required only to faithfully take down material when rights-holders complained.
Judge Sullivan concurred with eBay in his 66-page decision released Monday morning.
“Tiffany has failed to demonstrate that eBay knowingly encouraged others to dilute Tiffany’s trademarks,” he wrote. “Rather, to the extent that eBay may have possessed general knowledge of infringement and dilution by sellers on its Web site, eBay did not possess knowledge or a reason to know of specific instances of trademark infringement or dilution as required under the law.”
July 14th, 2008, 03:18 PM #2
Re: NYTimes article: Court Clears eBay in Sale of Counterfit Items
This is soooo annoying! I have sold my Tiffany choker on ebay before and 90% of the Tiffany stuff on there is fake. They're so obvious. Like who would sell a genuine brand new Tiffany choker AND bracelet for less than $100?? Most bidders just don't have a clue. How can ebay "not possess knowledge or reason to know specific instances of trademark infringement??"
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