eBay wins against the Big Blue Box

 Tiffany & Co girls
(Photo Credit: AP Photo- Richard Drew)
Well, this is fantastic news for us here at FASHIONPHILE- and for others who are just trying to run an honest business on eBay selling luxury brands.  And, hey- chalk one up for the literally thousands of individual- honest sellers of legitimate luxury goods, who just want the ability to post their authentic goods on eBay.

I am always worried when rights owners use trademark arguments to keep such tight reign on their brand distribution that legitimate resale of authentic goods is limited.  This is what happened in France with the LVMH v eBay, resulting in all LVMH perfumes being banned from the site.  And this is what worried me the most about the Tiffany & co. case.No honest seller wants any counterfeits available on eBay.  It hurts all of us.  Even though we only sell authentic luxury bags- when the reputation of eBay is damaged in such a way, that potential buyers associate online sales with only fakes- we lose and eBay loses and the potential buyer loses the opportunity  to purchase an authentic item at a discount.

At this point- at least with highly counterfeited brands like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Chanel, etc. eBay has taken specific measures to keep the fakes off.  They do what a gatekeeper can do- make sure that seller’s are legitimate, that they are who they say they are, eliminate one day auctions, deal with second chance offer fraud, etc.   They’ve made great strides since early 2006- and the results are amazing.  The only way to “finish the job” and truly clean up the marketplace is to have rights owners get more involved.

Judge Richard Sullivan said regarding the Tiffany & Co. case…

“Tiffany has failed to demonstrate that eBay knowingly encouraged others to dilute Tiffany’s trademarks.  Rather, to the extent that eBay may have possessed general knowledge of infringement and dilution by sellers on its Web site, eBay did not possess knowledge or a reason to know of specific instances of trademark infringement or dilution as required under the law.”

If you want to read more about it…

New York Times

Reuters

Wall Street Journal

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