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ebay Illegal Diamond Sale Was Checked By the Chief of Tiffany

2007: eBay Illegal Diamond Sale Is Spoiling the Image of Online Diamond Shopping

December 2007

A Manhattan courtroom is the scene of a lawsuit where Tiffany is blaming eBay for the sales of silver Tiffany knockoffs sold on its site.

James B. Swire, Tiffany's lawyer, said eBay "simply turned a blind eye" to the sales. Swire said the company randomly bought 325 items being sold as genuine Tiffany jewelry on eBay's Web site from among 280,000 listings related to Tiffany products. Of those, 75 percent turned out to be fake, he said.

EBay's lawyer said the site has suspended hundreds of thousands of sellers who broke its rules, and blamed Tiffany for not taking an active role in protecting its trademark.

"We never see this merchandise. We don't turn a blind eye to it," he said. "We turn people over to law enforcement all the time."

Later Tiffany’s chief executive took the stand and said that Tiffany had made a decision it was "uneconomical" to follow everyone who posted a fake on ebay and just decided to sue ebay itself.


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