Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Plainfield, IL
Location: Plainfield, IL
Years Riding: not often enough
How you found us: umm, my husband owns the site
Hey Crazy Look at this!!
Tiffany Sues eBay, Says Fake Items Sold on Web Site
Mon Jun 21, 4:53 PM ET Add Technology - Reuters Internet Report to My Yahoo!
By Brad Dorfman
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF - news) has sued eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY - news), claiming the online auctioneer has aided violations of the Tiffany trademark by letting counterfeit items be sold on its Web site, a Tiffany spokesman said on Monday
A study of certain pieces of "Tiffany" jewelry sold on eBay this year showed that 73 percent of the jewelry was counterfeit, Mark Aaron, a Tiffany spokesman, said in a statement about the lawsuit, which was filed Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in New York.
"Since they are making the money from it, the public is being defrauded by it and Tiffany is being damaged by it, the question is who should bear the burden of policing it," James Swire, the lawyer representing Tiffany, said of eBay.
An eBay spokesman says it has a program in place called VeRO, or verified rights owners, to help companies prevent fake goods from being sold on eBay.
"We take these concerns very seriously, which is why we have worked closely with Tiffany and thousands of other rights owners for many years through our VeRO program to help them address these types of issues," the eBay spokesman, Hani Durzy, said.
He added that he could not comment specifically on the lawsuit because eBay has not seen the complaint.
The lawsuit asks that eBay be stopped from listing any "Tiffany" merchandise that is not genuine and for eBay to account for profits it made on the sale of counterfeit Tiffany merchandise or else pay up to $1 million for each type of fake Tiffany merchandise sold on the Web site.
"We have been in correspondence with eBay for some period of time," Swire said. "A year ago, they declined to themselves police their auction sites for counterfeit Tiffany merchandise and said we should use the programs they have to police the site."
Using eBay programs like VeRO, Tiffany had two employees work full-time policing the site and forced the shutdown of about 19,000 auction sites on eBay, he said. This year, Tiffany randomly bought silver "Tiffany" jewelry on eBay and found that 73 percent of it was counterfeit, 5 percent of it was genuine and the rest was promoted as "Tiffany-like" but not promoted as genuine.
Sales of shoddy counterfeit merchandise with the Tiffany name harms Tiffany's reputation, the company said. (Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein in San Francisco)