EBay Wins in the Bootleg Tiffany Lawsuit
Beware bootlegs... really REALLY obvious bootlegs especially
Hey, EBay buyer, come a little closer, let me tell you a secret: if that piece of "Tiffany" awesomeness is bidding at $9.95, chances are it's a phony. You're welcome.
EBay Inc. isn’t responsible for the ssale [sic] of fake Tiffany & Co. jewelry on its Web site, an appeals court ruled, while returning Tiffany’s lawsuit to the trial court for further action on a false-advertising claim.
The New York-based appeals court today upheld EBay’s 2008 trial victory on trademark infringement. It said ads in which the online auction and retail site promotes sales of Tiffany merchandise may be misleading and in violation of federal law.
That ruling may force EBay to change its advertising policy to include disclaimers that some trademark goods, like Tiffany jewelry, might be counterfeit. The appeals judges said they “rather doubt that the consequences will be so dire” that advertising will be deterred because sellers can’t confirm the authenticity of goods for sale as EBay maintained.
“The advertising issues are peanuts,” Harley I. Lewin, an intellectual-property lawyer, said in a phone interview. “You run some advertising and maybe EBay has to tweak what it says.”
Tiffany criticized the ruling and said it may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Listen, disclaimers are always a good idea, kind of like directions on the back of shampoo bottles. You sincerely hope that human beings are intelligent enough to know not to rub shampoo in their eyes or put their mouths to a hot cup of coffee but unfortunately people are, well, total idiots and unfortunately idiots are generally smart enough to figure out how to dial the first skeezy lawyer they find in a phone book to bring the pain on your un-disclaimed ass. Shame, that.