Feeds

eBay trumps Tiffany in trade mark ruling

US appeals court: Hosting auctions of fakes doesn't infringe

SANS - Survey on application security programs

eBay does not infringe jewellery shop Tiffany's trade marks when counterfeits are sold by sellers at the online auction site. Tiffany has lost its appeal in the US against the same decision as made by a lower court.

Tiffany claimed that by allowing people to sell fakes, eBay infringed its trade marks. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has said that this is not the case because it removed specific items when genuine rights holders brought them to its attention.

But the ruling raised the possibility that eBay may have to change the way it advertises itself. The Court asked the lower court which originally ruled in the case to examine whether eBay broke false advertising rules when ads for its service talked about the availability of Tiffany products.

It may have to warn viewers of ads that some of the Tiffany products could be fakes if the lower court rules against it.

"The law requires us to hold eBay accountable for the words that it chose insofar as they misled or confused consumers," the court ruling said, according to Associated Press. "A disclaimer might suffice … but the law prohibits an advertisement that implies that all of the goods offered on a defendant's Web site are genuine when, in fact, as here, a sizable proportion of them are not."

"Tiffany is very disappointed by [the] decision," said Michael Kowalski, chief executive of Tiffany. "As an e-commerce leader, eBay has a responsibility to protect consumers and promote trust in its marketplace."

"EBay knew that counterfeit merchandise was being sold on its site and eBay took no effective steps to stop it. EBay deliberately misled consumers for profit, and unfortunately, the court has justified its actions," he said.

The company said it would later decide whether to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

"The decision is a critically important victory for online consumers who want the best prices for genuine products and underscores eBay’s commitment to connecting buyers and sellers under the pillars of trust, value, and selection," said eBay general counsel Michael Jacobson. "The ruling validates eBay’s leading efforts to fight counterfeiting and its commitment to providing consumers with choice and value in a safe and trusted marketplace."

See: The ruling (45-page / 134KB PDF)

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.