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Diane von Furstenberg Studio

Hall Of Shame Member
Added January 6, 2011

Last Updated January 10, 2011

The word "Bitch" seems to come to mind.

Our first problem with Diane von Furstenberg Studio was their use of Strategic Intellectual Property Information ("SIPI") as their Cyber Cops. Our primary opinion of Cyber Cops is that they are inherently dishonest, poorly trained and very over bearing in their attitude.

It also appears that Greenberg Traurig, LLP is a common link between SIPI and Farouk Chi, another client, and Diane von Furstenberg Studio. Is Greenberg Traurig, LLP so lazy and worthless that they have to out-source their representative obligations to an India-based company where the employees have a less than perfect grasp of the English language but also have (or at least had) a virus-infected web site? Certainly America has enough unscrupulous lawyers and cyber cops to do the job? And, inquiring minds want to know, does Diane von Furstenberg Studio know this task is being assigned to a third world cyber cop who is probably charging 25 cents an hour instead of the $250 an hour that Greenberg Traurig bills? Perhaps someone at Diane von Furstenberg Studio should take a close look at their billing from Greenberg Traurig?

Consider this eBay listing for an authentic Diane von Furstenberg dress. According to SIPI the dress is counterfeit. Based upon what information? And click here for detailed pictures of the receipts and other information that plainly shows the dress is authentic. The false claims made by SIPI were done with the knowledge that it is highly unlikely the seller can fight back. SIPI told eBay the listing was for a counterfeit product. This takedown was done January 3, 2011. According to SIPI:

"With respect to your query, the item in question was removed from auction as we believe it bears counterfeit Diane von Furstenberg (DvF)trademarks and also infringes design rights and copyright owned by the brand."

On January 10, 2011, a week later, the listing was restored. The seller provided the above receipts and suddenly SIPI was singing a new tune:

"We have requested eBay to reinstate your account and the auction. Apologies for the inconvenience caused to you. After a full investigation, our reasonable doubts as to the authenticity of the product have been removed."

"Inconvenience"? The people at SIPI are liars because they never had any "reasonable doubts". They get paid by the takedown. The people at SIPI are thieves because they cause many innocent sellers to lose legitimate revenue by the false claims of counterfeit. The people at SIPI are cowards because they do not care about the loss of policy compliance caused by the fraudulent takedown (which affects their eBay seller status), or the loss of sleep, loss of confidence and the anxiety they have caused a perfectly legitimate seller.

The problem here is SIPI really did not have any real basis for assuming these items were counterfeit. We believe that claiming "counterfeits" is a lie being used more and more by manufacturers to justify auction interference (see AB Rocket). So when SIPI, acting as the agent for Diane von Furstenberg Studio, told eBay to terminate the 19 auctions, SIPI was lying (that's called perjury) which makes Diane von Furstenberg Studio liars as well. And in our opinion, so is Greenberg Traurig. SIPI engages in what we call the Kill Them All strategy whereby the Trademark Abuser stops all sales regardless and waits to see who protests the action.

Also, bear in mind that the cyber cop, SIPI, gets paid for results which means that they get paid by the takedown not by the hour. Cyber cops like SIPI have no incentive whatsoever to be factual in their allegations. People on commission are going to lie to pad their income. And that is what SIPI is doing here. We also think that Greenberg Traurig is padding their bills for what little work they are doing. It will be interesting to see what the lawyers at Greenberg Traurig will say about this flagrant abuse of false authority. Particularly Harley Lewin (lewinh@gtlaw.com) and Scott Gelin (gelins@gtlaw.com) since the two of them represented Diane von Furstenberg Studio in January 2008 when Diane von Furstenberg Studio sued Target Stores for copyright infringement. Except it appears that poor Harley is no longer at Greenberg Traurig but is now a partner at McCarter & English as of August 2009. Sad but true. Bad lawyers never dis-barred, they just change law firms.

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