Spyderco is suing eBay for counterfeits

aleforme

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I admittedly have not read most of this thread :oops:, however, I do not see how e-bay can be held responsible for fakes which are sometimes difficult for knife enthusiasts to detect. Spyderco had to make a move, and I commend them for it but some agreement must be reached it seems wherein Spyderco finds an offender and e-bay takes action if the accusation is correct. Complicated. :confused: Please pardon me if I am repeating what has already been stated.

The problem is Ebay knowingly letting sellers sell fake/clone/counterfeit knives when they are very often listed as such. You don't have to have specific knife knowledge to understand fake/clone/counterfeit. In this case, it appears Spyderco consistently reports these sellers and adds to Ebay and it appears little or nothing is done about it. Ebay is letting these sales continue which potentially infringes on Spyderco's trademarks patents and copyrights.

The biggest problem with Ebay is that it's about profit. Right now I'm guessing defending these type of suits is cheaper than the loss revenue from cracking down on the sellers. Until that balance shifts and more and more suits consume their bottom line, I doubt much will be done.
 
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I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I think this is a good thing, I've heard rumblings of this so it's cool it's finally happening. Here's my thoughts:

1. Spyderco probably wouldn't have sued them if they didn't think they were going to win. Their lawyers probably thought they had a chance and they're all very smart people. So there's probably something going on here.

2. What's also true is that they're probably not the first people to try to sue ebay in this manner. They're probably not the biggest or wealthiest company to try. The fact that ebay is doing what they're doing means that ebay probably knows what they can get away with.

Here's a link I've found for a bunch of times ebay has had their cage rattled -> https://www.consumeraffairs.com/ebay-scams-and-lawsuits
 

SpySmasher

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I personally would rather know something is a fake right in the description.
Not me. I would rather that the ebay market be so fraught with the danger of getting counterfeits and clones that informed knife buyers are forced to buy new knives from legitimate retailers. That would sure as hell take a bite out the counterfeit market. The secondary market would be driven to places like BF where we have some ability towards quality control. Ebay would be left to people who didn't care or were looking to buy clones anyway. Screw 'em.
 
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Ebay would be left to people who didn't care or were looking to buy clones anyway. Screw 'em.
You mean kinda like what ebay is now? Still I understand the optimist who wants a perfect world. I am a realist though. And I don't see anything meaningful coming out of this. Even if ebay cracks down on listings I think people looking to sell clones and counterfeits just wont say its a clone or counterfeit and sell it anyways. And I don't want to force anyone to shop anywhere they don't want to.

Spyderco should sue them to not allow any spyderco's to be sold via ebay from anyone. used or otherwise.
That simply isn't possible. You can tighten distribution within your dealer network but you cant ban people from selling products on the second hand market. I understand you may want it to happen but it simply cant be done
 
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How can you spot a fake?

Buy from a reputable dealer or a member here with good feedback.

I gave up worrying about reporting fake knives to them after this if they don't care themsleves. Luckily ebay gave me a full refund without question.

I called CRK after seeing his name on Amazon decorating a knife on the cheap. Based on that call, I wouldn't do it twice.
 
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Good points, but that's why I think the report should first go to an administrator who'll determine whether it's a true report or a false report. If false, then the seller should be penalized. As for the second point, it's certainly true that the fake sellers would try selling without disclosing that they're fakes. But allowing the fakes to be advertised and sold as fakes, that just ain't fair to the companies that are being counterfeited. It's just not tenable IMO.
But that's where I think it gets really hard to do anything about. You state an administrator would have to determine if it was a fake or legit report. But I simply feel this person to be able to spot a fake knife based on pictures alone would be hard to find even within our membership ranks. How is a random joe going to be able to verify a fake based on the auction? Some people even do a search for pictures of a knife because they are either too lazy or not technically inclined to take their own. I just don't see how anyone would be able to even train for a position like that. They would need to be an expert in damn near everything being sold on ebay as its not just knives that would be effected if replica merch were to be eliminated. I think they should be allowed to sell the items. But it should be in ebay policy that anyone reported for selling clones, fakes or counterfeits will be reported to the company they are supposedly infringing on for further investigation. Including contact information and base of operations. That way if a company like spyderco wanted to act they could deal with it directly. I just don't see how ebay could be policed any more than craigslist.
 
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But that's where I think it gets really hard to do anything about. You state an administrator would have to determine if it was a fake or legit report. But I simply feel this person to be able to spot a fake knife based on pictures alone would be hard to find even within our membership ranks. How is a random joe going to be able to verify a fake based on the auction? Some people even do a search for pictures of a knife because they are either too lazy or not technically inclined to take their own. I just don't see how anyone would be able to even train for a position like that. They would need to be an expert in damn near everything being sold on ebay as its not just knives that would be effected if replica merch were to be eliminated. I

Ebay should hire Marcinek and Crawfish..... Done deal.
 
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This lawsuit will be thrown out of court. Selling counterfeit items on Ebay is already against the terms of service.

How can Ebay be held responsible for dishonest vendors who sell counterfeit knives?

They do not have the ability or resources to evaluate the origin of every item sold on their site.

Expecting them to do so is absurd.

Spyderco says that they do an active job of finding fake listings and Ebay doesn't follow through enough and take listings down when they themselves report them. Sellers who get reported have a long leash. Spend a few minutes searching the blatant fakery. Report it and see if it gets taken down.

They were aggressive with China based Aliexpress and at least typing Spyderco in the search bar doesnt yield pages deep of Spyderholed knives anymore.

I would try anything if my products were being undercutted and sold on American websites. This should at least get their attention and maybe even get them to be more proactive.

I take it that you have better ideas to help protect your brand? Sal's a mod also, maybe you can help him with some advise.
 
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Guys, Im sure Spyderco knows of Ebay's TOS and typical loopholes out of liability.

Good for them though for trying to figure out how to control the biggest source of fakes anyway. Looking at it from their point of view, there has to be a better outcome and resolution than what Ebay provides right now.
 

rpn

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Hope it goes well for spyderco. They just lost suit against a big sports store in Maine for the same thing and were ordered the pay the stores (Kittery Trading Post) legal fees.
 

Hackenslash

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Hope it goes well for spyderco. They just lost suit against a big sports store in Maine for the same thing and were ordered the pay the stores (Kittery Trading Post) legal fees.
Spyderco didn't loose the suit, it was dismissed for jurisdictional issues. Spyderco filed in Colorado and Kittery was able to prove that they did no business in Colorado; the knives in question being sold in Maine. Yes, Spyderco will have to pay Kittery's legal fees, but they can re-file the suit in Maine if they choose. I'll be curious to see if they follow up.

I'm a little concerned for the success of the eBay suit if Spyderco has the same legal team handling the action. Jurisdiction verification is usually step one of a proposed suit.
 
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But it should be in ebay policy that anyone reported for selling clones, fakes or counterfeits will be reported to the company they are supposedly infringing on for further investigation. Including contact information and base of operations. That way if a company like spyderco wanted to act they could deal with it directly. I just don't see how ebay could be policed any more than craigslist.
Here's another idea then. Anyone reported for selling fakes will have their paypal (or other account) linked to ebay debited $500 for each violation. There would have to be a hold on the funds for each sale until the "clear date", when it's safe to say the purchaser is satisfied with the merchandise. This would especially target the large volume counterfeiters.

Another idea is make large volume sellers prove good title to their products from the actual manufacturers or legitimate wholesalers. No different from doing an audit or raid on unscrupulous stores that sell counterfeit or stolen goods.
 
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Come to think of it, there are numerous ways for ebay or law enforcement to eliminate counterfeiting. There are simply no incentives for them to do so. If the counterfeiter is doing large volume and is located in the U.S., simply no reason why they aren't raided and arrested. There are a few large volume ebay dealers who are legitimate, why not give them a "trusted dealer" ranking. Those dealers without that status have to prove their legitimacy with invoices and contact information showing where they bought their wholesale goods. Instead, police are too busy writing traffic tickets for driving 10 mph over the limit on the highways. What a waste of resources. Law enforcement is a big joke and obviously has been so for a long time.
 
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There are much better and effective ways to eliminate counterfeiting, especially from larger platforms such as eBay, Alibaba and DHGate.
I mean, give me a budget of $100000 and a small team and I will probably wipe most of them out within a year.
All you need to know is who are the counterfeit makers and sellers, and how they operate.
BTW - very interesting how this suit will turn out for Spyderco and eBay.
 
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Here's another idea then. Anyone reported for selling fakes will have their paypal (or other account) linked to ebay debited $500 for each violation. There would have to be a hold on the funds for each sale until the "clear date", when it's safe to say the purchaser is satisfied with the merchandise. This would especially target the large volume counterfeiters.

Another idea is make large volume sellers prove good title to their products from the actual manufacturers or legitimate wholesalers. No different from doing an audit or raid on unscrupulous stores that sell counterfeit or stolen goods.
I don't think the first idea will work simply because it still relies on someone having to be an expert in spotting fakes and prove that the auction in fact is selling fakes. And it doesn't prevent someone from falsely being accused and fined when they may be perfectly legit. As for proving good title how would they implement that? Any dealers selling on ebay are usually doing it under the radar because most manufacturers don't want their stuff on ebay. So any dealer who would have to out themselves to prove the authenticity of a product probably wouldn't sell on ebay anymore. And that is if they are an actual dealer and not a person just flipping some knives they may have got a good deal on.
 

palonej

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When I read that, I was amazed Hack!
That legal team needs a bit of a spanking.......if we have all the facts.
That suit never even made it off the ground. What a waste of time and money.......again, if that is true.
Regardless, I am rooting for Sal & Co in this suit.
Joe

Spyderco didn't loose the suit, it was dismissed for jurisdictional issues. Spyderco filed in Colorado and Kittery was able to prove that they did no business in Colorado; the knives in question being sold in Maine. Yes, Spyderco will have to pay Kittery's legal fees, but they can re-file the suit in Maine if they choose. I'll be curious to see if they follow up.

I'm a little concerned for the success of the eBay suit if Spyderco has the same legal team handling the action. Jurisdiction verification is usually step one of a proposed suit.
 
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I don't think the first idea will work simply because it still relies on someone having to be an expert in spotting fakes and prove that the auction in fact is selling fakes. And it doesn't prevent someone from falsely being accused and fined when they may be perfectly legit. As for proving good title how would they implement that? Any dealers selling on ebay are usually doing it under the radar because most manufacturers don't want their stuff on ebay. So any dealer who would have to out themselves to prove the authenticity of a product probably wouldn't sell on ebay anymore. And that is if they are an actual dealer and not a person just flipping some knives they may have got a good deal on.
When the purchaser receives the item and finds out it's a fake, he should report it to ebay, which would then freeze the proceeds of sale plus the potential penalty amount in the seller's account. Seller should then have to show copies of its invoices or other proof of authenticity/chain of title. If seller is unable to show anything within 30 days, then he is penalized. Obviously, there are some good sellers on ebay. Maybe they should be granted some kind of trusted seller ranking. We're talking about those scammers who are usually based overseas, perhaps in China, or some other place where law enforcement and U.S. courts have no jurisdiction. It's those suspect sellers who should be scrutinized with more care.
 
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There are much better and effective ways to eliminate counterfeiting, especially from larger platforms such as eBay, Alibaba and DHGate.
I mean, give me a budget of $100000 and a small team and I will probably wipe most of them out within a year.
All you need to know is who are the counterfeit makers and sellers, and how they operate.
BTW - very interesting how this suit will turn out for Spyderco and eBay.
I don't think there is any question that, if counterfeit sellers are within U.S. borders, we should be able to raid them and arrest them, seize and destroy all fake items and all proceeds from sale. You hear about raids by law enforcement on occasion. Obviously, it's not enough. They aren't allocating sufficient resources to reduce this problem. If they're not located in U.S., we should still be able to force ebay to put a system in place that greatly reduces this problem.
 
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