/ July 16, 2008

US Goes Easy on Ebay

After losing millions of dollars in similar cases in Europe, EBay has something to celebrate now that they’ve defeated fine jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company in court this week. The case which has been in the works for a number of years was relatively open and shut as the deciding judge, the Honorable Richard J. Sullivan, issued an almost 70 page opinion listing all the reasons why EBay could not be held responsible for hunting down counterfeiters. In fact, the judge has placed most blame on Tiffany & Co. for not doing more to regulate counterfeit goods themselves. Judge Sullivan declared that essentially EBay, “can rely on intellectual property holders to monitor their sites, as long as they promptly remove material when rights holders complain.”

While EBay plans to keep current regulation processes in place, there are no plans to increase the amount of counterfeit control in the US despite the changes that will be made to the European side of the site. Tiffany & Co. plans to appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeal hoping to prove that EBay is clearly infringing upon their trademark and profiting from the crime. In the chance that the appeals court decides to rule against the online auction house, EBay will face more punitive damages but it could make it easier when it comes time to enforce new counterfeit regulations.

Source: New York Times

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