eBay wins (again) against Tiffany

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Tiffany has failed in its latest bid to sue eBay over fake jewellery sold on its site. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeal refused yesterday to overturn a lower court’s ruling that eBay has done all it is required to do in law to stop counterfeit items being sold.

eBay general counsel Michael R. Jacobson said “The ruling validates eBay’s leading efforts to fight counterfeiting … We continue to support cooperation, rather than litigation, as the best way to address these issues in everyone’s best interests.”

eBay removes suspect items once reported by trademark owners via its VeRO program. In the long-running case, Tiffany has argued that this is an inadequate response and that eBay itself, not the trademark owner, should be doing more to verify the genuine nature of goods sold via the site.

Tiffany’s chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski said: “eBay deliberately misled consumers for profit, and unfortunately, the court has justified its actions. The consumer is the real loser today.” The company is now considering an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

9 Responses

  1. Ebay’s policy and that of some of the vero owners is uneven.

    Many listings are brazenly selling counterfeit items and should be shut down immediately, the fact is ebay is slow to react and does not pro-actively do anything, relying entirely on vero complaints or ebay community watch.

    On the other hand some vero owners abuse the system and shut down legitimate goods from being sold or items which although not the branded goods are legitamately compared to them.
    Ebay will generally acquiesce with illegitimate complaints from vero owners and community watch.

    In many cases it is patently clear who is selling counterfeit goods and the main culprits are chinese sellers. As there are factories quite openly making this stuff and wholesalers in there thousands selling it, that is no surprise.

    There are many sellers who cannot resist the temptation and import the counterfeit goods to sell on ebay. They take more of a risk, although the main risk is just having their listings deleted every now and again.

    Fake branded goods make my non-branded goods seem unatractive as they sell at a similar price. Quite often though they are of poorer quality as not only are they fakes but they are not even made from the genuine materials.

    So on balance I think ebay are getting away with it here, and should take more responsibility. Of course being responsible does not necessarily help ebay reap financial rewards.


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