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Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK
Ebay sues fellow auction web site
Ebay is taking rival BidBay to court
Ebay says BidBay copied the style of its logo, among other things
If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, than online auction site eBay, one of the few profitable ventures on the internet, finds itself the object of genuine praise.

But eBay is not pleased and is taking rival BidBay to court for remaking its site to resemble eBay's.

The internet's largest auction site, eBay alleges BidBay's logo and web-page design mirror too closely that of eBay's. It also accuses the upstart auction site of choosing a name that too closely resembles eBay's.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in a federal court in San Jose, seeks to prevent BidBay from using eBay's likeness as well as financial compensation.

Jay Monahan, eBay associate general counsel, whose job it is to protect eBay's business and trademarks, told BBC News Online that BidBay's moves to fashion its web site after eBay's is an "egregious" of an internet business copying another to steal market share.

Newly launched auction site

BidBay was launched in January 2000, after its founder George Tannous became disenchanted with eBay because of its "unfriendly attitude and lack of service," BidBay's web site explains.

Mr Tannous, who bought the BidBay domain name for $1,000 through an auction on eBay, has denied that he copied eBay's design and has called the

BidBay through its attorney told BBC News Online that it did not wish to comment on the lawsuit until it had received a copy of the complaint.

For its part, eBay's Monahan said BidBay's efforts in recent months in which it adopted a colourful logo and content that mirrors eBay's pushed the company to pursue legal action.

Mr Tannous was reported as saying that eBay's objection his use of the word "bay" at the BidBay web site was tantamount to Wal-Mart and Kmart both using the word "mart".

But it is not quite the same concept, eBay's Monahan told BBC News Online. While everyone knows what a mart is, he explained, the use of "bay" is not entirely understood, even by the eBay's own staff.

Upbeat eBay

In its recent quarterly earnings report, eBay bucked the recent downward trend with an upbeat set of results, earning $24.6m, or 9 cents a share, in the most recent three-month period.

Its revenues rose to $180.9m from $98.2m in the same quarter a year ago - well above most analyst forecasts for second-quarter sales of about $165m.

In Tuesday trading on the Nasdaq, shares of eBay ended the day higher, edging up nearly 3% to $62.72 during a generally positive session on Wall Street.

See also:

01 May 01 | Business
Amazon loses top spot
20 Jul 01 | Business
Microsoft disappoints markets
19 Apr 01 | Business
eBay results cheer tech sector
19 Jan 01 | Business
eBay profits surge
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