eBay Wins Trademark Suit

Internet auction site EBay has blocked retailer Perfumebay.com from using a Web site address ending with "ebay" after an appeals court ruled it was trademark infringement. Perfumebay, a seller of designer perfumes over the Internet, now is no longer able use the domain name "Perfumebay.com" because the presence of "ebay" in the address confuses consumers, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in Pasadena. San Jose-based eBay had earlier accused Huntington Beach-based Perfumebay of redirecting customers who did Internet searches for "Perfume eBay." Ultimately, the court rejected Perfumebay's argument that the terms weren't alike; "perfumebay.com" still goes to the company's website but it looks like the company will soon need to find a new digital home.

News source: SiliconValley

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so you can't have a domain which ends in ebay? that is completely wrong and i hope they appeal as this is outrageous.
Trademark is something and other things is to prosecute companies domains that "may" affect some search engines results.

It's unfortunate how few people seem to grasp what a trademark is and why it needs to be protected.

eBay was only doing what it had to do. And the judge made the right decision.


C_Guy said,
It's unfortunate how few people seem to grasp what a trademark is and why it needs to be protected.

eBay was only doing what it had to do. And the judge made the right decision.


The ENTIRE trademark system needs to play catch up with the times. There are so many laws that need to be updated now that we are in the internet age. Our legal system and laws are lagging way behind.

Anyone who can spell the word perfume would know that perfumebay is not perfum+ebay but perfume+bay. Totally stupid lawsuit, I hope this gets appealed and the judge slapped with a wet trout. Well, unless getting "slapped with a wet trout" is somehow trademarked and/or copyrighted by someone...

I wonder if anyone owns "bay" -- someone has to and could get the little e'er back. ;)

Too bad they didn't name the url: perfume-bay.com (or did they?)

Or does that even matter? Can you have "lowe-b-a-y.com"?

Hmm, bay.com may get some visits.

Be afraid Neowin.. :P


Anyways, perfumebay can create a "fake" russian or chinese company and give the ownership of the nic, later this "fake" company can rent the use to the real company. Who must respect the law is the nic owner not the nic user.

Perfume Bay's get out: add a hyphen. They still keep the domain name perfumebay.com but it 302 redirects to perfume-bay.com. They don't have to change their stationery for a while (but they'll need a new secure certificate).

This is of course notwithstanding the fact that they shouldn't have to in the first place...

Edit: perfume-bay.com is already registered to them, so at least they don't have to deal with cybersquatters.

woohoo! how about ThePirateBay.org then?

so if i'm searching for "pirate ebay", i'll get redirected to that? eh? ;)
sheesh, so now i understand eBay's concept.. let's see how they play this game

I can't believe this decision to be quite honest! It's crazy!!!

It's down to Ebay's users what they sell (ebay users = us) on the site. Answer me this...what if nobody was selling Perfume on ebay at that time. How is is misdirecting users. (lame argument perhaps, but I've only been up an hour...still struggling)

I think that's utterly pathetic!!

I've been wondering if eBay are slightly too big for their boots recently, and this kind of completes my argument.

In the name of justice I'd like to politely ask the mods to remove this link as embedded in it is the word eBay...we wouldn't want to confuse anyone!

Right, I get it. Nitpicky trademark protection disguised as "justice" in the name of people who cannot spell a word correctly in their first language.

Yup, only in America...

The decision is common sense if the company has come into existence since the launch of eBay - there is serious grounds for concern about trademarks, particularly if the company is using it to redirect customers that search for "perfume eBay". However, if the company existed beforehand then the judgement is wrong.

This isn't as ridiculous as the MikeRoweSoft case, where the address was phonetically idential, but there is room for confusion and trademarks exist for a reason.

The company isn't named "Perfume eBay" it is named "Perfume Bay." The fact that the letters ebay are in the URL does not violate any trademarks; it is just an unfortunate byproduct of the way the internet works. As I started before, there are at least a couple dozen or more companies which may have the 4 consecutive letters "ebay" in the name that have no intent to be in the business that eBay is in.

But you have to look at what a trademark is:

1. any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner.
2. a distinctive mark or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.

PerfumeBay could be considered the perfume business of eBay, hence the confusion. TheBay, on the otherhand, is different because take away "Bay" and you're left with "The", something that can't be confused as a business venture from eBay. The point is that a trademark is used to identify a brand and there was deemed to be a potential for confusion with the website address. To suggest that it must be a bribe is slander to the judge and the US judiciary and is without merit.

I don't know the full details, only the court does, but I can see that there is room for confusion. Obviously it was deemed enough to strip the company of their web address. As I said before, if the business was established BEFORE eBay then the decision is unfair and restrictive - if it wasn't then I can understand the decision. Without knowning the details it's hard to make a fair assessment of the ruling.

It's not as if they said,"Hey, let's name it this because it has ebay at the end!" It's simply the URL address which must be put in that form for the browser to read it.

I mean, really, it's no different than a site named "therapist.com" which can be confused with "the rapist". eBay's just splitting hairs, and it's ridiculous. How you find a way to justify it is beyond me, honestly.

theyarecomingforyou said,
But you have to look at what a trademark is:

1. any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner.
2. a distinctive mark or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.

PerfumeBay could be considered the perfume business of eBay, hence the confusion. TheBay, on the otherhand, is different because take away "Bay" and you're left with "The", something that can't be confused as a business venture from eBay. The point is that a trademark is used to identify a brand and there was deemed to be a potential for confusion with the website address. To suggest that it must be a bribe is slander to the judge and the US judiciary and is without merit.

I don't know the full details, only the court does, but I can see that there is room for confusion. Obviously it was deemed enough to strip the company of their web address. As I said before, if the business was established BEFORE eBay then the decision is unfair and restrictive - if it wasn't then I can understand the decision. Without knowning the details it's hard to make a fair assessment of the ruling.

either A) it's 2 diffrent words. thus can't violate the copy right unless it has the word eBay. which it does not. it has 2 words, Perfume and Bay. no where is the word "eBay"

or B) the name of the company is one word. in which case eBay is claiming copyrights on a buisness company title that isn't theirs. they don't have a copy right on PerfumeBay as one word

TheBay, on the otherhand, is not different because you take away the "Bay" and you're left with "Perfume", something that can not be confused as a business venture from eBay

fixed that for ya

this is rediculous, plain and simple. They have a copyright on the word "eBay", as a single entity, and that's it. if i were the company i'd appeal it all the way up the the supreme court and then counter-sue the hell out of eBay for lost business

wtf we can use bay at all?
this is a stupid decision really... i seriously don't trust american justice anymore.
its perfume bay.. not perfume ebay.

wow that just as stupid as britney spears having to pay kevin federline lawyer 160grands

Any domain name containing the word Bay after a word ending in E is going to be at risk now. This is a ridiculous decision and Perfume Bay should appeal the decision, and we should all support them.

The judge was probably some 75 year old who doesn't even know what a computer is.

The judge was obviously bribed or something. How on earth would two words from the English dictionary violate a trademark?
Canada has had a retailer called "The Bay" (thebay.com) for hundreds of years, perhaps the judge can rule against them as well and get a 5th Posche for his collection as well...

eBay didnt go for a suit, so the judge cannot sue them.
bad point, because this might have only been the beginning.
eBay might want to use this as a precedence case, in order to be more safe for future similar suits.
imagine doing 20 suits at once, lose em all and youre ****ed! :P

Glassed Silver:mbl

Hehe... not really. eBay is an auction site where you can buy and sell stuff, ThePirateBay is a torrent search engine. Two completely different sites which are not competing against eachother, therefore eBay wouldn't win any similar case against ThePirateBay.

Ridiculous decision!

Anyone who types 'perfume ebay' into Google, rather than searching for 'perfume' on ebay, deserves to be "confused".

Perfumebay.com have been robbed. Ebay should be made to buy the name from them for a considerable sum.

edit:

Just tried googling "perfume ebay" - the first page of hits were all eBay links.

So claims that perfumebay is redirecting customers are false.
Since when did eBay rely on perfume sales to bolster their profits anyway?

The judgment, or lack of..., remains ********.