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US ruling relieving eBay of trade mark liability over fakes will stand

SNIPPET: The US Supreme Court will not overturn a ruling that eBay does not infringe trade marks when it allows counterfeit sales at the online auction site, meaning that the ruling cannot now be changed.01 Dec 2010

Jeweller Tiffany sued eBay in 2004, claiming that when a fake is sold on eBay the company is responsible for trade mark infringement because it did not find and prevent the sale.

The Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that eBay had fulfilled its duty by removing specific items when instructed to by Tiffany, and that its obligations went no further than that.

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal, meaning that the Court of Appeal ruling stands.

Part of the case could proceed, though, because the Court of Appeal asked the lower court in the case to rule on whether eBay adverts for Tiffany goods broke false advertising rules.