Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PerfumeBay Loses Trademark Appeal to eBay!

"A four-year battle with eBay Inc. has brought a name change at Huntington Beach’s Perfume Bay Inc. Web sites.

Perfume Bay, whose sites now are called Beauty Encounter, last year lost an appeal in a trademark infringement case against the online auctioneer and retailer.

It is funny how the Internet works. I live in Orange County, CA not far from Huntington Beach where has its headquarters and this article was in the Orange County Business Journal but I actually heard about it from Sue at Tamebay -- in the UK.

I also thought it was quite funny that eBay never sued my former company Glacier Bay for trademark infridgement. Apparently the one count of the suit that PerfumeBay actually lost was: "The courts found Perfume Bay clear on eight out of the nine counts. The ninth count alleged that Perfume Bay couldn’t use the word “bay” next to the word “perfume” in its Web site address." (bold is mine)

Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad eBay didn't sue me for trademark infringement, but it sure looks like selective enforcement to me, which should negate their claim. Of course, I'm not a lawyer so who knows if that argument holds water.


Tony P. said...

I wonder if Skyphone might have a case against ebay/skype? hmmm?

LOL (but ya never know!)

Talal said...

Anyone know anything about the Tiffany case? I heard they were wrapping that case up. Ebay wrote about it in its 10K statement.

Anonymous said...

Randy, the difference is the "e" next to the "Bay". You were not similarly exposed.


"eBay Domain Names
eBay owns exclusive trademark rights in the eBay name in the United States and in many countries internationally. The ownership, use or sale of a domain name containing the eBay name is not permitted because it is likely a trademark infringement. We do not give permission to third parties to register domain names containing "eBay." Also, eBay item listings attempting to sell such domains are likely to be ended by eBay.

While it has become very popular to register, use and sell domain names (including on eBay), it generally is not permissible to own, sell or use a domain name, which contains a trademark owned by another person or company.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if Skyphone might have a case against ebay/skype?"

No. Not considered to be within the realm of "confusingly similar", the cornerstone of domain intellectual property law.

Anonymous said...

Oh ... hold the phone ... you mean for "Skypephone"?

Maybe Tony has a point about the product, but not the company.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous #1,

Yeah, I know. But since the article mentioned "Bay" as being the problem I thought I would bring up Glacier Bay

"The ninth count alleged that Perfume Bay couldn’t use the word “bay” next to the word “perfume” in its Web site address."

There a quite a few existing domains that include ebay, what are eBay's plan regarding them?

allroundguy said...

This matter is not over yet!
The US does not own all dictionary words.
The Court has created an intenational incident:

1. No law can say that somebody has sole rights upon a dictionary word.
2. Intellectual property is now ruled by international treaties that have priority over national regulations.
3. The US have undersigned such treaties.
4. The principle is primarily to protect customers from fraud by copycats, and only secundarily to protect brands.
5. Perfume Bay mainly sells cosmetics, while eBay sells anything. So no whatever product can be sold by any company that has "bay" in the name?
6. This way, will be sued by the US Gov soon ...
7. Apart from all the rest, domains have nothing to do with trade marks! Domains are addresses, not brands. If this ruling is accepted by the population, then people will be sued for their telephone number, car license plate, home address, and their name. does not infringe anything: A bay is a place to put and to keep things.

It is clear that the Court erred seriously.

If the US wants to keep up it's status as the most democratic country on Earth, the verdict must be voided.

Bobby Jassos said...

In the world of business, a trade mark is arguably the most important asset so it makes sense to try and protect it. It can grow in value the more you use it and the more it becomes well known. Please register all of your trademarks and other intellectual property. To registry of companies anyone can take the advises from a professional consultant.

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