Monday, April 5, 2010

Court Rules on eBay -v- Tiffany Auction Postings

On April 2nd a federal appeals court agreed with a lower court's decision  in favor of eBay, which was being sued by Tiffany & Company.  The court found that eBay is not responsible for trademark violations if auction sellers use eBay to list and sell fake Tiffany items.

But the ruling asked the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to reconsider Tiffany's allegations that eBay violated false advertising laws by allowing merchandise to be listed as genuine Tiffany products, if eBay was not sure if the items were genuine.

The net result of this court decision is that eBay would not need to stop listing goods as Tiffany products, even if it knows that some of the items are counterfeit. the ruling stated "A disclaimer might suffice." The law prohibits eBay from implying that all of the goods posted on its Web site are genuine when many items are not.