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Supreme Court Ends Tiffany's Fight Against eBay

  Business  -   POSTED: 2010/11/30 19:42

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Tiffany's in its ongoing suit against eBay, effectively closing the case in favor of the online auction house.

The original suit, filed in 2004 and heard in 2007, claimed that eBay was not doing enough to police its auctions for counterfeit goods.

Tiffany claimed that it purchased its own goods in random eBay auctions, and that 73 percent of the purchases were of counterfeit goods. eBay, meanwhile, had claimed that its Verified Rights Owners program satisfied the company's obligation to sell legitimate merchandise.

In 2008, eBay won the initial ruling, but Tiffany's appealed the case to an appellate court. After the court upheld the eBay decision again, Tiffany's only other recourse was an appeal to the Supreme Court.

"It is true that eBay did not itself sell counterfeit Tiffany goods; only the fraudulent vendors did, and that is in part why we conclude that eBay did not infringe Tiffany's mark," the appeals court opinion said. "But eBay did affirmatively advertise the goods sold through its site as Tiffany merchandise."

The Supreme Court denied the petition on Monday, appending a note that Justice Sotomayor took no part in the consideration or decision of the petition.


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