Two European subsidiaries of eBay were sued by watchmaker Rolex over alleged auctions of counterfeit Rolex watches, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the Internet auctioneer, Internet publisher E-Commerce Times report.
The suit, which was filed April 25th in the regional court of Cologne, Germany, against eBay GMBH and eBay International AG, alleges that eBay infringed on Rolex’s trademarks by allowing users to auction phony Rolex watches on eBay Germany. The suit also alleges unfair competition.
”We believe that we have meritorious defenses against this claim and intend to defend ourselves vigorously,” eBay said in the SEC filing on Tuesday, reports E-Commerce Times.
Rolex is seeking damages and an order forbidding the sale of Rolex watches on the site.
The SEC filing also revealed that eBay anticipates additional infringement suits in the future ”as laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are interpreted by the courts,” E-Commerce Times reports.
The Web auction giant said that, ”meritorious or not,” these suits could harm its business by resulting in costly litigation, service delay, or expensive changes in its way of doing business.
The filing also said that such lawsuits could result in eBay having to enter into costly licensing agreements.
In other eBay news, the company announced Tuesday that it is sponsoring the PBS series ”Antiques Roadshow.” eBay said the deal made it the first Internet company to be a national underwriter of the show.
eBay said it will host a page on its site called ”Discovering America’s Hidden Treasures,” that will be updated weekly by ”Antiques Roadshow” with content about appraisal and collecting topics.