September 14, 2010, 1:02 PM

Tiffany loses ruling on eBay lawsuit

A federal judge throws out the last remaining claim in a counterfeit goods case.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

A federal judge has thrown out a false advertising claim brought by Tiffany & Co. against eBay Inc. over sales of counterfeit Tiffany jewelry on the online marketplace. The ruling involved the last remaining claim from a lawsuit filed by the retailer in 2004.

No evidence indicates that the eBay ads that Tiffany challenged were misleading or confusing, wrote Judge Richard Sullivan of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District Manhattan in his order. “The court concludes once again that the plaintiffs have failed to satisfy their burden on the false advertising claim,” the order says.

Tiffany had claimed that between 2003 and 2006 hundreds of thousands of counterfeit silver jewelry items were sold on eBay.  Tiffany said that eBay should have done more to prevent the sales. Tiffany said the online marketplace infringed upon the Tiffany trademark by claiming that eBay was selling genuine items from the luxury goods retailer.

Tiffany is No. 111 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

On April 1, Tiffany lost an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the other claims in the lawsuit.  Neither Tiffany nor eBay responded to requests for comment.

It’s the second win in court for eBay in the past week. Late last week, a Delaware reinstated eBay’s minority share in the online classifieds site Craigslist. EBay had sued Craigslist in 2008 over allegations that two Craigslist board members reduced eBay’s stake in the company to less than 25%, preventing eBay from electing a director or the board were it expanded to three members.


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