The question: Should eBay be in trouble because people sell fake Tiffany jewelry and Louis Vuitton knock offs on the online auction site?
Sure, if you live in France: Last month, a French court told Ebay to pay a whopping $61 million to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to atone for all those fake wannabe Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes being sold on the site.
Closer to home, a New York federal judge today ruled that eBay wasn’t responsible for all that silver quackery sold under the vaunted Tiffany name. Instead Tiffany is the one that’s responsible for monitoring its trademark, the judge wrote in his opinion. The big win for eBay was also a big win for its lawyers at Weil Gotshal & Manges. On Tiffany’s side was Arnold & Porter.
Legal Pad sent an email to Stanford intellectual property scholar Mark Lemley to ask why the difference between France and America? Lemley cut to the chase in his one line response: “Because the U.S. has a legal system that respects and encourages the development of the Internet, and France, so far, does not,” he wrote.
Okay — but they’ve got a pop-singing fashion model for a first lady and all the really good cheese.
— Zusha Elinson