EBay Wins Round Against Tiffany as High Court Rejects Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive Tiffany & Co.’s bid to hold EBay Inc. accountable for sales of counterfeit goods on its auction website.

The justices today left intact a ruling that said Tiffany couldn’t use federal trademark law to sue EBay, the most-visited U.S. e-commerce site.

New York-based Tiffany, the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer, argued unsuccessfully that EBay knew enough about the widespread sale of knockoffs to warrant being held liable for contributing to trademark infringement. EBay, based in San Jose, California, countered that it had taken extensive anti-fraud measures, spending $20 million a year on “safe trading” programs.

In September, a federal trial judge in New York tossed out a false advertising claim Tiffany was pressing as part of the same suit.

The case is Tiffany v. EBay, 10-300.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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