Tiffany CEO Admits That It's Suing eBay Because It's Too Hard To Find Real Counterfeiters

from the lawsuits-don't-work-that-way dept

Three and a half years ago, famed jeweler Tiffany sued eBay because people were selling counterfeit Tiffany goods on the auction site. As we noted at the time, it doesn’t make any sense at all to sue eBay, since it’s not eBay who’s doing anything wrong. Tiffany’s CEO has now basically admitted that, but doesn’t seem to mind. At a hearing in the lawsuit, CEO Michael Kowalski admitted that the firm was suing eBay because it was hard to find the actual sellers. That may make sense in the mind of a Tiffany exec, but the way laws work is that you don’t get to sue the person or company who’s easy to find just because those actually responsible are hard to find. When a robber holds up a Tiffany store, does Kowalski sue the maker of the getaway car, because the robber can’t be found? The company does admit that it sues the individuals when they can be found, but the CEO refers to them as “phantasms” and claimed it made more sense to just focus on eBay, saying that the real fault is “the distribution network, not the seller.” Next thing you know, Kowalski will be suing the internet itself. After all, it’s “the network, not the seller.”

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Companies: ebay, tiffany

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Comments on “Tiffany CEO Admits That It's Suing eBay Because It's Too Hard To Find Real Counterfeiters”

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35 Comments
Anon (user link) says:

This is so weird

It’s so strange. I was just looking for a Tiffany’s charm bracelet on eBay and decided to have a look on Techdirt – and here this is.

Oh, and it’s very stupid to sue eBay for this – although I don’t think the people who shop at his stores are really going to care if he sues eBay for a bunch of incorrect reasons or not – it won’t hurt their image.

Ray says:

I support Tiffany as eBay is out of control with fakes. My wife bought a Tiffany item on eBay and it was a fake so she notified eBay and they did nothing. We sent the item to Tiffany and they confirmed it was a fake. Still eBay did nothing. We contacted the seller who then gave my wife a bad comment on her record! Yes, the criminal dinged us and still eBay did nothing, not even remove the ding! eBay knows about these fakes and does nothing. I hope Tiffany sues the hell out of eBay and wins.

hautedawg says:

Re: Re:

When you buy something at a lower price, you can be assured that it was a fake, or stolen. You purchase a $1000 item for $50, you know that there is large chance that it is not a genuine Tiffany. Just like buying something that “fell off the back of the truck”, you know the price is too good to be true, but you want to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. You get what you deserve, ding and all. Sorry to be so blunt, but come on, be honest with yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ray

Why not sue the seller then? This is your right. Or, make sure Tiffany’s sues them.

But, Hautedawg has a point. You are an adult (I would hope any for being married) and should have known better. I don’t go on e-bay and look for cisco routers and buy the $50 3800 series model. I know it will be a fake, or dead. Especially since they start at 3k easy. Actually, I don’t use e-bay at all. But, I’m wise enough to know when I’m being had.

sean says:

Christies, anyone?

I briefly looked but I can’t find… haven’t people sued Christies and Sothebys for auctioning stolen art, particularly that taken off Jewish families in Nazi-era Europe?
If they’ve been successful, would this not set the precedent that the dealer or auction-house is indeed liable for facilitating the sale of fake or stolen goods?

Pls don’t flame me for comparing faked Tiffany stuff to Picassos and the Holocaust, it’s the legal PRECENDENT I’m wondering about.

Jules says:

Tiffany is stupid

Tiffany is stupid. All you have to do is a search on Google and you will find hundreds of websites that say they are selling fake Tiffany jewelry. All they sell is fake Tiffany jewelry, but they go after Ebay. They are just lazy and greedy. They thought they could get some easy money from Ebay. I think they are losing business because so many people make sterling silver jewelry in better designs than them. I wouldn’t wear their stuff cause it looks like their logo says TACO from a distance. Yeah, I want to wear a choker that announces that I love to eat at Taco Bella, but hey they’ve got that 4th meal thing going on. (Great marketing idea, like Americans need a 4th meal…sheesh!)

joan thomas says:

refake items from ebay

ebay allows the sellers to scam the buyers because after claim are filed they continue to sellebay is just as responseable as the seller is y is it they get the our money b4 well get the item it should both be sent to ebay ebay check it out then once the item clears as was posted online ebay sends item and payment and the sellers areinsured if like me its embarresing i b told that i the buyer is scamiing my friend and it cost er time and money the sell should fill orders as they are list or paypal give the max per item 2000. i have alot in this oh one more thing why would ebay wipe the items i orderd i cant even view this in my e-mail like they dont want someone to seewat they have allowed

joan thomas says:

refake items from ebay

ebay allows the sellers to scam the buyers because after claim are filed they continue to sellebay is just as responseable as the seller is y is it they get the our money b4 well get the item it should both be sent to ebay ebay check it out then once the item clears as was posted online ebay sends item and payment and the sellers areinsured if like me its embarresing i b told that i the buyer is scamiing my friend and it cost er time and money the sell should fill orders as they are list or paypal give the max per item 2000. i have alot in this oh one more thing why would ebay wipe the items i orderd i cant even view this in my e-mail like they dont want someone to seewat they have allowed

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