Online auction sites make bid for $1 NO RESERVE AUCTION

Bidz.com, which runs an auction website, has filed a trademark infringement action against rival online auction provider eBay in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Bidz.com claims that eBay's use of the phrase '$1 no reserve auction' infringes its US federal trademark $1 NO RESERVE AUCTION for internet auction sales and purchases. Bidz.com registered its mark on May 27 2003 and it claims to have used it since June 2000.

The dispute began in September 2003 when Bidz.com's lawyers sent eBay a cease and desist letter demanding that eBay stop its use of the phrase '$1 no reserve auction' for some of its online auctions. The trademark infringement suit followed and eBay has requested a jury trial.

This is not eBay's first time in federal court on allegations of intellectual property violations. In May of this year, a jury awarded MercExchange millions of dollars in damages for eBay's and Half.com's infringements of several MercExchange patents. The damages award was set at $29.5 million, of which $10.5 million was for eBay's infringing activities. That decision and verdict have been appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Leigh Ann Lindquist, Sughrue Mion PLLC, Washington DC

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