Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 23:48 UK

Tiffany files eBay ruling appeal

Tiffany is seeking to overturn the District Court's decision

Jeweller Tiffany has begun an appeal against a court ruling that eBay was not primarily responsible for ensuring fake goods were not sold on its site.

Tiffany argued that eBay should be responsible for policing the site.

However, a US court decided in April that the primary burden for protecting a brand lay with its owner.

Tiffany first sued eBay in 2004 after it claimed that 73% of a random sample of supposed Tiffany goods for sale on the website were counterfeit.

A US district court found that eBay was not responsible for seeking out and removing counterfeiting goods before they could be put up for auction.

Tiffany's decision to carry this litigation on after the District Court's decision doesn't do anything to combat counterfeiting
Catherine England, eBay

Tiffany's legal representative, Patrick Dorsey, said: "The effect of this is that eBay can continue to profit at the expense of consumers and trademark holders."

EBay has removed items listed for sale on its site when notified that they were suspected to be counterfeit, but the luxury retailer argues that eBay should be compelled investigate and take action without prior notification.

In a statement, eBay said: "Tiffany's decision to carry this litigation on after the District Court's decision doesn't do anything to combat counterfeiting."

In April, the court decided that when eBay knew of counterfeiting on its website, it took "reasonable steps to investigate and stop that wrongdoing through general anti-fraud measures".

It ruled that "the burden of policing the Tiffany mark appropriately rests with Tiffany".


EBay lost two further court cases this year relating to the sale of branded goods.

In June, a French court ordered the auction site to pay 40m euros (31.6m; $63m) to luxury goods group LVMH for allowing online auctions of fake copies of its goods.

LVMH claimed that eBay's French site had not done enough to stop the sale of counterfeit bags and perfumes.

On 4 June, a court in the eastern French city of Troyes found the auction site directly responsible for the sale of fake Hermes bags.

It imposed a penalty of 20,000 euros jointly on eBay and the woman who offered the bags for sale.

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