15
Jul/08

How Much Should Brand Owners Spend On Trademark Lawyers?


In yesterday’s decision in Tiffany v eBay, the Court noted:

Notwithstanding the significance of the online counterfeiting problem, it is clear that Tiffany invested relatviely modest resources to combat the problem. In fiscal year 2003, Tiffany budgeted approximately $763,000 to the issue, representing less than 0.05 percent of its net sales for that year . . .
More specifically, Tiffany’s time dedicated to monitoring the eBay website and preparing NOCIs [complaints under eBay’s VeRO program) was limited. . . a paralegal . . devoted two days a week to reviewing the eBay website and answering emails from buyers and sellers involving removed listings. . . Tiffany’s security manager also devoted one day a week to monitoring and reporting on the eBay website. . .
Decision, page 18.
Is 0.05 percent of net sales a lot or a little?
Is two days of a paralegal’s time a lot or a little for a brand that’s alleging 46,000 allleged infringements in a year?

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