The bell rang for the appeal round of the legal bout between Tiffany & Co. andeBay Inc.
In a move the luxury jeweler signaled it would make, Tiffany said it is appealing a federal court ruling last month that eBay could not be held liable for trademark infringement of Tiffany merchandise.
Judge Richard Sullivan ruled that the giant online auction house does not have the legal responsibility to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods, and that Tiffany has the burden of policing its trademark.
“Unfortunately, the trial court incorrectly held that trademark holders and not eBay are responsible for policing the eBay site,” said Tiffany general counsel Patrick Dorsey. “In our view, this approach makes no sense as a matter of law or policy. Once eBay has reason to know that a specific brand like Tiffany & Co. is being widely counterfeited and sold, eBay should be compelled to investigate and take action to protect its customers and stop the illegal conduct.”
However, Sullivan found that eBay could not be held liable for trademark infringement based solely on its general knowledge that counterfeit goods might be sold on the site. Tiffany filed the suit in 2004 after it found dozens of fake products bearing its name for sale on eBay.
“Tiffany’s decision to carry the litigation on after the district court’s decision doesn’t do anything to combat counterfeiting,” eBay spokeswoman Catherine England said. “The best way to stop counterfeiting is ongoing collaboration between companies, government agencies and law enforcement.”
EBay has been at the center of two closely watched cases involving counterfeit luxury brands this year. In June, a French court found the Web site guilty of gross misconduct for its part in the sale of counterfeit goods from brands owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The court ordered eBay to remove all auctions involving LVMH goods and pay compensation totaling 38.9 million euros., or about $58.4 million at current exchange. A court of appeals upheld the decision two weeks later.
The U.S. case is being closely watched by brand owners and others in the intellectual property community because if it is overturned on appeal it has the potential to cause havoc to eBay’s business model and open the popular Internet retailer to litigation from other labels.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast