Today a Manhattan judge ruled in eBay's favor in the lawsuit Tiffany & Company brought against the site for sales of alleged counterfeit Tiffany's jewelry. WWD reports:
The decision, entered by Judge Richard Sullivan at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, said that it is the trademark owner's burden to police its mark. Tiffany, the ruling said, failed in its burden to prove claims that eBay was liable for trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising and unfair competition for facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.
EBay argued that it is merely a service through which buyers and sellers connect and cannot be held responsible for counterfeit items because it never physically possesses them.
This is a landmark win for eBay, which would have had to completely restructure business operations in the wake of a loss. Just last month a French judge ruled eBay could be held responsible for the sale of counterfeit LVMH goods on the site and ordered the company to fork over $62.3 million plus $50,000 for each day counterfeit items remained up for sale.