On November 29, 2010, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the Tiffany v. eBay case out of the influential Second Circuit.  That court had found in favor of online marketplace eBay in a suit brought by Tiffany, Inc., charging contributory trademark infringement where eBay posted listings that offered counterfeit silver Tiffany jewelry for sale.  Tiffany (NJ), Inc. v. eBay, Inc., 600 F.3d 93 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 9355 (2010).  Tiffany had sent hundreds of complaints to eBay, which had taken down the specific listings complained of but refused to stop other listings that purported to sell Tiffany silver... Read More
The inherent openness and anonymity of the Internet are creating unprecedented challenges for corporations. With the dramatic growth in online social media sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, companies are now faced with the challenge of managing their identities in the world of Web 2.0.  All of the major social media sites provide Terms and Conditions that strictly prohibit impersonation, as well as copyright infringement.  However, as a preemptive measure, companies should consider protecting their corporate identities and core brands by registering them across social media sites: On some sites, like Twitter and YouTube, this is especially of concern because... Read More
Ebay Wins again! In the latest round of battles against Ebay by companies suffering from counterfeits, a Belgian court found Ebay not liable to L’Oreal for counterfeits sold on its site. At least three cases against Ebay in Europe have been litigated seeking to hold Ebay liable for infringing counterfeits, two which have ruled against Ebay. At issue is the European Directive that protects companies facilitating e-commerce, and how this Directive is interpreted. Interesting- Ebay’s position that it is only a passive provider of Internet “hosting” services persuaded the Belgium court, but not the French or German courts, in recent cases... Read More
Yesterday, the long awaited decision in Tiffany v Ebay was released by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, exonerating Ebay from any liability to Tiffany for infringing auctions on its site. In a sweeping ruling for Ebay, the Court emphasized that, although both Ebay and Tiffany have an interest in eliminating counterfeit Tiffany merchandise from Ebay, the burden of policing Tiffany’s valuable trademarks on the Internet falls squarely on the brand holder. In holding that Ebay was not contributorily liable for trademark infringement, the standard is not whether eBay could reasonably anticipate possible infringement, but... Read More

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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More