Rolex Sues eBay in Germany


May 16, 2001

Rolex Sues eBay in Germany

Claiming counterfeit Rolexes are sold on the site, Montres Rolex filed a lawsuit against eBay's site in Germany, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory filing by eBay. Rolex, Geneva, Switzerland, seeks an order to halt sales of the counterfeit watches on the site, claiming the sales infringe on Rolex's trademark and result in unfair competition. The company also seeks damages from the site.

In the SEC filing, according to Bloomberg News, eBay says it plans to defend the suit vigorously and has "meritorious defenses." Ebay won a similar suit last year regarding sports memorabilia, with a judge saying sellers wrote descriptions of the items and not eBay. Rolex last year won summary judgment against a company selling "replica" Rolexes online and sued other companies to halt such sales with mixed results. One company it sued successfully, Fakegifts.com, continued to operate until this year when a suit filed by Cartier and Montblanc resulted in indictments against the site's owners.

- by Michael Thompson