Tiffany: eBay is Rat's Nest for Counterfeiting

Tiffany & Co., the world's second-biggest luxury jeweler, called eBay is a "rat's nest" for counterfeiting and urged a judge to rule that the biggest online auctioneer was liable for infringement. In a legal brief submitted Dec. 7 to U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan, the jeweler assailed eBay; both companies now await his ruling in a trademark infringement trial.

At issue is whether eBay must pay damages for failing to make adequate efforts to block sales of counterfeit silver jewelry. New York-based Tiffany and other retailers claim online sales of counterfeit clothes, bags and jewelry cost them about $30 billion a year. "At some point, eBay had to have realized that counterfeiting was rampant" on its site, lawyers for Tiffany wrote in their brief. "Indeed, it was a proverbial 'rat's nest.'"

EBay said in its brief that it's a "model citizen" in the fight against counterfeiting and that an adverse ruling might "wreak havoc" on some Internet-based businesses. The company has stated that the law places the primary burden to fight counterfeiting on retailers like Tiffany, which has devoted "relatively few resources" to the fight.

News source: SiliconValley.com

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