Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on eBay and Fakes (UPDATED)

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a French court had held eBay responsible for fakes sold on the site. They're doing much better here in the U.S. From yesterday's New York Times:

"In a long-awaited decision in a four-year-old trademark lawsuit against eBay brought by the jeweler Tiffany & Company, Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the online retailer does not have a legal responsibility to prevent its users from selling counterfeit items on its online marketplace. The verdict reaffirms that Internet companies do not have to actively filter their sites for trademarked material. Rather, they can rely on intellectual property holders to monitor their sites, as long as they promptly remove material when rights holders complain."

The decision is here. Eric Goldman has a good summary. Rebecca Tushnet says "it’s certainly a major victory for eBay, and by extension perhaps numerous other internet services."

UPDATE: More from our friends at Paul Weiss: "The ... decision stands in stark contrast to that reached just two weeks earlier by the Commercial Court of Paris in a similar dispute between eBay and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton ('LVMH'). In that case, the court granted a sweeping injunction that not only requires eBay to block all sales of certain counterfeit LVMH products on its site, but also to block all sales of genuine LVMH perfumes being sold there by unauthorized distributors. In addition, that decision requires eBay to pay various LVMH units $60.8 million in damages for past counterfeit or unauthorized sales."