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2nd Cir. OKs eBay Use of Tiffany’s Trademark, But Revives False Advertising Claim

Posted Apr 1, 2010 6:28 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with eBay today in a trademark infringement and dilution case brought by Tiffany & Co., finding that a lower court had correctly permitted eBay to list for sale on its website used items from the renowned retailer.

However, its 45-page written opinion (PDF) also breathed new life into a false advertising claim that the trial court had also dismissed, remanding it for further consideration.

An unhappy Tiffany's portrayed the decision as a loss to consumers being victimized by eBay's sale of mislabeled goods, reports the New York Daily News.

"eBay knew that counterfeit merchandise was being sold on its site—and eBay took no effective steps to stop it. eBay deliberately misled consumers for profit, and unfortunately, the court has justified its actions," said chairman and chief executive officer Michael Kowalski. The consumer is the real loser today."

The company also is considering a U.S. Supreme Court appeal, according to Wired's Threat Level blog.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Counterfeit Case Against eBay May Raise Web Policing Requirements"

ABAJournal.com: "No Gold for Tiffany in Suit Against eBay for Knockoff Sales"

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