Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Tiffany’s Trademark Infringement Claim Against eBay
By Dmitriy Tishyevich – Edited by Jad Mills
Tiffany Inc. v. eBay Inc., Case No. 08-3947 (2d Cir., Apr. 1, 2010)
On April 1, the Second Circuit largely affirmed the holdings of the district court in the Southern District of New York. The court concluded that despite the evidence that eBay had general knowledge that some of its customers had used its website to sell counterfeit Tiffany merchandise, eBay itself could not be held liable for direct or contributory trademark infringement or for trademark dilution. It remanded the case, however, to determine whether eBay could be held liable for false advertising.
Eric Goldman, who had previously commented on the district court opinion, provides a summary of the Second Circuit’s decision. Larry Downes for the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society views the decision “a matter of economic necessity,” arguing that placing the burden on online marketplaces rather than on manufacturers “would effectively mean the end of eBay and sites like it.” Rebecca Tushnet comments on the opinion, focusing on the false advertising holding. Ron Coleman of the Likelihood of Confusion blog provides some additional commentary and criticism.