Supreme Court Rejects Tiffany-eBay Case

Decision effectively closes the book on the counterfeiting suit.

by staff writer
- Dec 01, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Tiffany Inc.'s case against eBay concerning the sale of fake Tiffany jewelry on the site, essentially putting an end to the suit.

Tiffany Inc. initially filed the lawsuit against eBay in 2004, claiming eBay violated trademark laws by not doing enough to stop the sale of fake items on its site. It also said the sale of fake Tiffany goods had earned eBay more than $4 million between April 2000 and June 2004. However, throughout the case, eBay contested that it had done what it could to stop the sale of counterfeit goods with its Verified Rights Owners program, through which users can report listings that violate copyright laws.

In 2008, when the case first went to court, a judge sided with eBay, and Tiffany filed an appeal, which was rejected. This left the company with only one more court to appeal to—the Supreme Court. But its decline to hear the matter means the previous rulings stand, and that the case is effectively closed.

"The U.S. Supreme Court's cert. denial is a great victory for eBay and U.S. consumers," says Michelle Fang, the associate general counsel for eBay. "We believe this case has always been about Tiffany's efforts to prevent people from buying and selling authentic Tiffany products online, and the culmination of this case validates eBay's business practices."

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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