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TIFFANY'S TARGETING EBAY FOR KNOCKOFFS

TIFFANY'S TARGETING EBAY FOR KNOCKOFFS
By JANET WHITMAN with Post Wires
MEG WHITMAN
eBay boss.November 14, 2007 -- A trial over a trademark dispute with Tiffany & Co. got underway in New York yesterday that could change how eBay - and other e-commerce companies - do business.

Tiffany, which filed its lawsuit against eBay in 2004, said yesterday in court that the online auctioneer isn't doing enough to make sure the bling sold on its Web site that's billed as Tiffany is the real thing.

"Although eBay controls its site and has the ability to act, it has failed to do so," James Swire, the celebrated New York jeweler's lawyer, said in his opening argument. "EBay has simply turned a blind eye."

Tiffany brought the suit after it purchased hundreds of pieces of silver "Tiffany" jewelry from eBay and discovered that three out of four items were knockoffs.

EBay lawyer Bruce Rich said the company spends more than $10 million a year to "cleanse its site of counterfeit merchandise," and has suspended hundreds of thousands of sellers who didn't operate by its rules.

Rich blamed Tiffany itself for failing to protect its own trademarks by notifying eBay when it sees sales that might not be legit.

If Tiffany is successful with the suit, eBay could be forced to check the authenticity of tens of millions of items for sale on its site - an impossible burden, according to some industry observers.
Such a ruling could also spill over to other Internet companies selling goods on the Web.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan in New York is hearing the case without a jury.

The trial is scheduled to go on through Nov. 21.

Shares of eBay rose 1 percent to $33.23 on the Nasdaq.
 

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Tiffany knock-offs are (and always have been) rampent on ebay. IMO they aren't doing enough. If I were Tiffany, I'd be pissed as hell too. Kate Spade used to be the same way, probably every other bag listed was fake. Then KS really cracked down on ebay and magically, the number of fakes dropped WAY down. Maybe its because Tiffany is probably one of the harder brands to authenticate due to the nature of the product and difficulty in getting clear pictures of items.

I don't think authenticity checks are "an impossible burden". Hell, the mods here could run through jeans pages in under and hour and purge it of fakes so maybe they do need to employ people who are "experts" in certain brands that are prone to faking. Its not as if they don't make enough money that they can't afford to hire some more employees!! Not to be crass but when Meg Whitman farts, dollar bills come out.
 

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I don't think it would come to ebay having to authenticate everything. I think the possibility of certain brands being banned from eBay completely is much more the reality.

eBay is much more willing to spend millions fighting lawsuits than they are actually following through with complete bans of sellers selling counterfeits. Sellers just move on to a new selling ID. Something eBay COULD put a stop to but they don't because it all boils down to $$$$$$$$$$$. Yes, eBay has a rule that if you are suspended on one ID that you cannot use another BUT they don't police their own policies.
 

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Yes, eBay has a rule that if you are suspended on one ID that you cannot use another BUT they don't police their own policies.
EXACTLY. eBay HAS all the tools it needs to STOP PEOPLE FROM REREGISTERING. They just CHOOSE NOT TO. I mean how hard is it? We have meager tools and funds here and still it's very easy to detect re-reregistered ban-ees. They have financial info, IP's, email info, names, addresses, cookies, and on and on. The could easily set up things to block out banned sellers.


Regarding tiffany, that will not be the outcome of the lawsuit, ebay has their "just a venue" status pretty carefully covered
 

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Regarding tiffany, that will not be the outcome of the lawsuit, ebay has their "just a venue" status pretty carefully covered
I agree with this. Although I think it could be possible for eBay to hire a ton of new employees in order to authenticate target brands, I don't see the judge ruling that they have to. I also don't foresee eBay not allowing the sale of certain brands on their site unless ordered. One of the seriously wonderful things about eBay is that you can buy basically ANYTHING! In the end I don't think any judge will find eBay liable for fake merchandise. I actually agree with this anyway. I think the burden is on the buyer.
 

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I think ebay should police better... and allow easier reporting of fake/bad listings...

From an ebay page... there is NO quick link to report an item that I know of...they make it too hard for the community to police themselves IMO

on the other hand, it IS up to the buyer to be informed.
 

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Does reporting fake designer items do any good?
No it doesn't.
Run a search we have covered that before several times, there are other ways and topics to report on that they will. Just have to know the rules:magwink
Really, if ebay acted everytime someone reported a fake item...what would stop say...
ME from reporting YOUR auction as fake, when it may not be, JUST because you are a competitor?
 

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No it doesn't.
Run a search we have covered that before several times, there are other ways and topics to report on that they will. Just have to know the rules:magwink
Really, if ebay acted everytime someone reported a fake item...what would stop say...
ME from reporting YOUR auction as fake, when it may not be, JUST because you are a competitor?
I knew that I had read that before... several times... I just wanted to reiterate it here while also making sure that I was correct. I just thought it was a relevant point in the discussion.
 

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THere is a 'report this item' link at the bottom of every item page

Two things:

1-- Im a pretty avid ebay user and I have been on ebay since 99 with the same user name... which is a LOT longer than most people and I had no idea that link was WAAAAAAAY the F at the bottom of the page.

2-- It SHOULD do some good, because there should be knowledgeable people, even consultants, that would then verify the authenticity of the item and the user ID of the person that reported it... reporting other people's auctions out of spite would be ban worthy... problem solved.

So the fact the link does no good is purely a reflection on the laziness and corporate greed of ebay... which I become more and more sick of daily... Ebay used to be awesome.. it has steadily moved south... in addition dont even get me started on paypal... They want me to verify my account with a home phone number, and I havent had a home phone since ... 1998, and no one wants to get back to me on how to get my account working again since they suspended it...
 

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:explode Im so pissed at paypal and their policy with claims on fake denim. The buyer of the fake has to provide supporting documentation proving that they are fake. Shouldnt it be the seller that has to prove the authenticity?



eBay says that in order to sell authentic merchandise on their site, you have to purchase from credible places..which does not include their site. Makes no sense :confused: They're just in it for the money and probably don't give a rats ass about much else.

eBay has single handedly allows itself to facilitate the buying and selling of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit merchandise.

I like how in the article it states "EBay lawyer Bruce Rich said the company spends more than $10 million a year to "cleanse its site of counterfeit merchandise," and has suspended hundreds of thousands of sellers who didn't operate by its rules." ... Yea suspended, NOT TERMINATED! Sure you sold counterfeit merch, welcome back, give it another shot. Most people come right back and start with the fakes again.
 

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:explode Im so pissed at paypal and their policy with claims on fake denim. The buyer of the fake has to provide supporting documentation proving that they are fake. Shouldnt it be the seller that has to prove the authenticity?
I hadn't thought about this before but I completely agree.
 

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eBay says that in order to sell authentic merchandise on their site, you have to purchase from credible places..
Please show me where it says this. It does not. It says you should take measures to be 100% certain what you're selling is authentic and should not sell it if you aren't
 
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