Corante

AUTHORS

Donna Wentworth
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile)

Ernest Miller
( Archive | Home )

Elizabeth Rader
( Archive | Home )

Jason Schultz
( Archive | Home )

Wendy Seltzer
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile )

Aaron Swartz
( Archive | Home )

Alan Wexelblat
( Archive | Home )

About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

COPYFIGHTERS
a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Benlog
beSpacific
bIPlog
Blogaritaville
Blogbook IP
BoingBoing
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
CoCo
Commons-blog
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyfutures
Copyright Readings
Copyrighteous
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Detritus
Julian Dibbell
DigitalConsumer
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
DTM:<|
Electrolite
Exploded Library
Bret Fausett
Edward Felten - Freedom to Tinker
Edward Felten - Dashlog
Frank Field
Seth Finkelstein
Brian Flemming
Frankston, Reed
Free Culture
Free Range Librarian
Michael Froomkin
Michael Geist
Michael Geist's BNA News
Dan Gillmor
Mike Godwin
Joe Gratz
GrepLaw
James Grimmelmann
GrokLaw
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
ICANNWatch.org
Illegal-art.org
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
IPTAblog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
LawMeme.org
Legal Theory Blog
Lenz Blog
Larry Lessig
Jessica Litman
James Love
Alex Macgillivray
Madisonian Theory
Maison Bisson
Kevin Marks
Tim Marman
Matt Rolls a Hoover
miniLinks
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Napsterization
Nerdlaw
NQB
Danny O'Brien
Open Access
Open Codex
John Palfrey
Chris Palmer
Promote the Progress
PK News
PVR Blog
Eric Raymond
Joseph Reagle
Recording Industry vs. the People
Lisa Rein
Thomas Roessler
Seth Schoen
Doc Searls
Seb's Open Research
Shifted Librarian
Doug Simpson
Slapnose
Slashdot.org
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Teleread
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
Weblogg-ed
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

LINKABLE + THINKABLE
AKMA
Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
bk
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crawlspace
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Dispositive
Ben Edelman
EEJD
Ernie the Attorney
FedLawyerGuy
Foreword
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IPnewsblog
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Kuro5hin.org
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
Misbehaving
MIT Tech Review
NewsGrist
OtherMag
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
PHOSITA
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

ORGANIZATIONS
ARL
Berkman @ Harvard
CDT
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
CPSR
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
DigitalConsumer.org
DFC
EFF
EPIC
FIPR
FCC
FEPP
FSF
Global Internet Proj.
ICANN
IETF
ILPF
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
PFF
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office
W3C


In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« Fourth Circuit Affirms that Passive Hosting/Viewing of Web Content without Knowledge is not Copyright Infringement | Main | Book Publisher Knopf Rattles Copyright Saber »

June 22, 2004

Tiffany's sues eBay under shaky TM theory for failure to police counterfeits

Email This Entry

Posted by Jason Schultz

Favorite first-breakfast jeweler Tiffany & Co. has filed a trademark lawsuit against eBay, claiming that it allows too many counterfeit Tiffany items for auction.

The lawsuit asks that eBay be stopped from listing any "Tiffany" merchandise that is not genuine and for eBay to account for profits it made on the sale of counterfeit Tiffany merchandise or else pay up to $1 million for each type of fake Tiffany merchandise sold on the Web site.

While I can understand Tiffany's outrage that as much as 73 percent of all listed items under their name are fake, the rationale for the suit seems to me increadible overbearing and expansive as a trademark theory, especially since everyone knows that eBay explicitly disclaims any knowledge of whether a particular item is authentic or not when you bid on it.

No one expects newspapers to police their classifieds like this; why should eBay be singled out?

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


COMMENTS

1. AdamThomas on June 22, 2004 1:47 PM writes...

Reading through the links, a similar case was decided when "Rolex filed a suit against eBay's German subsidiary two years ago, alleging that the site's customers sold fake Rolex watches. The suit, which eBay later won, sought an order to ban sales of Rolex watches on the site as well as financial damages." (link)

It sounds like Tiffany(R) is using the means available to police black/grey markets ( VeRO and maybe GenuOne).

It also sounds like the onus of authenticity is on the seller:
"Vero is eBay's system for deterring copyright infringement on its site. When the site gets a complaint, it cancels the auction and notifies the seller of the objection. It is up to the seller to prove that the sale is legitimate for it to be relisted" (link)
[sounds much like what has become common practice with ISPs and might allow for take-downs of false-positives]

I'm glad VeRo & GenuOne exist - I think on balance these services help protect consumers - but after having taken obvious steps to reduce the black/grey market I don't think eBay will end up bearing the brundt (other than, say, the legal costs and the initial loss in their stock price* ;)

*"Tiffany shares rose 21 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $37.94 on the New York Stock Exchange." (link)

Permalink to Comment

2. Ebay Stinks on June 23, 2004 4:41 PM writes...

Ebay needs to get serious about these types of violations. It is unrealistic to compare Ebay to classified ads considering the amount of bgus goods that are offered on Ebay everyday.
Sellers who repeat this type of activity should be permanently expelled from Ebay once they have been caught selling bootleg merchandise. Ebay should be considere as nothing more that a big building that houses many garage sales. Once the house can be shown to have many many illegal sales, it should be up to the building or house owner to eliminate the vermin.

Permalink to Comment

3. Dan on June 24, 2004 8:11 PM writes...

How is Ebay supposed to know which Tiffany items are real and which are fake? If they lose this case, the likely result would be that they'd use some automatic filter to ban all auctions with the word "Tiffany" in them, which would suppress both real and fake Tiffany jewelry auctions, as well as auctions of CDs by the '80s teen singer of that name.

Permalink to Comment

4. Nick on September 13, 2004 3:27 PM writes...

Thats not the point, Ebay are willfully letting these people get away with it. That's the problem. I have personally complained to Ebay on many occasions about a seller who routinely sells fake items. Oakley, Boss, Ferregamo, Mont Blamc, you name it, he gets it from Hong Kong and sells it as genuine. Buyers have complained to Ebay many times, and left negative feedback. What has ebay done about this seller? Nothing! Ebay is complicit in this activity because at least 50% of there income is derived from these types of counterfeit sales. It's about time Ebay was forced to police their own auctions seeing it is them that is making money from them. While there at it, ban people indefinitely who have been caight selling pirated goods - not let them carry on!!

Permalink to Comment


EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
CBS to HBO: Wait for Us!
Sometime Next Year, HBO Will Become Netflix
OpenMedia vs the TPP
CopyrightX 2015 (online course) Now Open
College Students vs Rising Textbook Prices
"Amazon is crowdsourcing their slush pile"
Rule 84 and Patent Trolls
Sports Continue to Tiptoe Away from Cable Monopolies