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Archived updates for Thursday, July 17, 2008

What Tiffany Spent to Combat Counterfeiting

According to Judge Sullivan in Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. eBay (July 14, 2008),
Notwithstanding the significance of the online counterfeiting problem, it is clear that Tiffany invested relatively modest resources to combat the problem. In fiscal year 2003, Tiffany budgeted approximately $763,000 to the issue, representing less than 0.05 percent of its net sales for that year. (Def.’s Ex. 200; Tr. 94:11-14.) Tiffany’s CEO, Michael Kowalski, testified that over the past five years, Tiffany has budgeted $14 million to anti-counterfeiting efforts — of which approximately $3-5 million was spent in litigating the instant action. (Tr. 825:121-826:21.)

. . . More specifically, Tiffany’s time dedicated to monitoring the eBay website and preparing Notices of Claimed Infringement was limited. . . . [T]he equivalent of anywhere between 1.15 to 1.6 full-time employees per month dedicated to monitoring the eBay website.
"There is a wide gap between what is expected of eBay in France and in the United States," notes Border Measures. "On 30 June the Commercial Court of Paris found eBay Inc and eBay AG (“eBay”) jointly guilty of allowing the online sale of counterfeit items as alleged by Louis Vuitton Malletier, Christian Dior Couture and four perfumeries of the LVMH Group, and ordered eBay to pay damages of 39 million euros."
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