by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 14th 2008 12:56pm
Unlike last month's awful ruling in a French court, costing eBay millions, a US court has correctly recognized that eBay should not be found responsible for auctions of counterfeit goods. This case involved Tiffany Co., who wanted eBay to be held liable for others selling fake Tiffany goods on eBay auctions. The court sided with eBay on every single charge, and smacked down Tiffany over and over again in the ruling. It noted that eBay is not responsible for the actions of its users, and Tiffany is wrong to suggest that eBay has the responsibility to monitor the auction site for infringing auctions. eBay does take down such counterfeit auctions when made aware of them, and that is all that the company is required to do. The court specifically points out that the Supreme Court had already rejected the idea of a "reasonable anticipation" standard that would have made eBay liable, even though Tiffany tries to suggest otherwise. The court also notes that eBay didn't infringe on Tiffany trademarks in mentioning Tiffany in advertisements for the site. This is an excellent overall ruling, and nearly the complete opposite of the terrible French ruling.
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