Ebay recently won a court case, when a judge ruled that jeweler Tiffany & Co is responsible for policing their trademarks online, not eBay.
Tiffany had sued eBay over the sale of counterfeit jewelry on eBay’s sites. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan in New York said in a Monday ruling that eBay can’t be held liable for trademark infringement “based solely on their generalized knowledge that trademark infringement might be occurring on their websites.”
Sullivan’s ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed in 2004, in which the jeweler alleged that almost all of the items listed on eBay as genuine “Tiffany”products were fakes. The company said it had asked eBay to remove counterfeit listings, but the sales continued.
The Tiffany ruling was good news for eBay, as it recently lost a different case stemming from counterfeit luxury goods in France.
In that case, a French court ordered it to pay more than $61 million to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which complained it was hurt by sale of knockoff bags, perfume and clothes. eBay is appealing that ruling.
Ebay is known not only for hosting fake and counterfeit jewelry. People who buy diamonds on ebay have to beware about misleading descriptions, undisclosed treatments, stones with phony certificates, and other misrepresentations.