Spyderco Suing eBay Over Counterfeits

Spyderco has filed a lawsuit against eBay, one of the largest eCommerce retailers in the world. The suit centers around the sale of fake Spyderco knives on eBay.com, and alleges five offenses including trademark infringement.

According to the complaint, filed in the US District Court of Colorado last week, Spyderco has tried to help eBay address the problem of counterfeit knives on the website since early 2009. “Spyderco has sent eBay more than 500 Notices of Claimed Infringement (“NOCI”) by at least 300 individual www.ebay.com registered sellers identifying thousands of Fake Spyderco Products.”

Spyderco contends that eBay isn’t taking “the reasonable means” to halt services to sellers of counterfeit Spyderco knives. “eBay continues to allow www.ebay.com to be used by thousands of Unauthorized Sellers to advertise Fake Products that display unauthorized Spyderco trademarks that infringe on Spyderco’s Marks.”

The lawsuit alleges that eBay knowingly ignored the complaints of intellectual property infringement. “eBay cannot continue to enjoy the enormous profits derived from the proliferation of Fake Products sold on the eBay website if the unauthorized sellers are excluded from selling their counterfeit goods.” Spyderco says the ongoing presence of counterfeit Spyderco products in eBay listings causes confusion for consumers and damages Spyderco’s reputation.

The Counterfeit Report, an eCommerce watchdog founded by a former LAPD Officer, say major online retailers often do little to protect consumers. “Despite website policy, and repeated trademark infringement notifications, the sellers and items often remain,” they report. “Alarmingly, after being notified by manufacturers, Amazon and eBay do not tell deceived buyers that they may have received a counterfeit item, even if it’s dangerous or potentially deadly, like OTC drugs, auto suspension parts or exploding Apple USB chargers.”

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Spyderco seeks reparations including $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, $500 per each deceptive trade practice committed by eBay, and punitive damages. The eBay lawsuit follows on the heels of the dismissal of Spyderco’s suit against Kittery Trading Post. Filed in December of last year, the complaint was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and Spyderco has yet to take further action on the matter.

Knife featured in image: Spyderco Manix 2 Lockback