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Tiffany (NJ), Inc. v. EBAY, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
600 F.3d 93 (2010)


Facts

Ebay, Inc. (Ebay) (defendant) was an online marketplace for new and used goods. Individuals listed goods on Ebay for sale to other individuals, and Ebay received money from both listings and actual sales. Because fraud was easily perpetrated through sales on Ebay, Ebay implemented several measures to reduce fraud, including: (1) employing thousands of employees to fight trafficking in illegal goods and fraud on its site, (2) using computer programs to detect fraud, (3) creating a “Verified Rights Owner Program” through which intellectual-property-rights owners could notify Ebay of potential fraud and Ebay would remove the suspect listing, (4) suspending sellers suspected of selling counterfeit products, and (5) delaying when listings for high-end brands were available to customers to give intellectual-property-rights owners time to review the listings. Tiffany (NJ) Inc. and Tiffany and Company (Tiffany) (plaintiffs) manufactured and sold high-end jewelry. Second-hand Tiffany goods were sold on Ebay, many of which were counterfeit. Whenever Tiffany notified Ebay of a potentially fraudulent listing, Ebay promptly removed the listing. Tiffany sued Ebay for, among other things, contributory trademark infringement. After a bench trial, the district court ruled for Ebay on the contributory infringement claim. Tiffany appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sack, J.)

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