eBay has long fought to keep cyberspace clear of other websites ending in "bay," arguing that sites with "generic plus bay" names infringe its trademark. Most of these lawsuits haven't lasted long, as the defendants quickly settled. The online commerce giant recently concluded its longest and hardest-fought battle of the bunch, against an Orange County-based perfume retailer that, until recently, did business primarily at PerfumeBay.com.
PerfumeBay.com disappeared from cyberspace last week, following a court order. [Order Amending Judgment, PDF] After losing to eBay in district court in C.D. Cal, Perfume Bay president Jacquelyn Tran started blogging her experiences while she appealed to the 9th circuit. That appeal resulted in a strong win for eBay, and Perfume Bay has now changed its name to Beauty Encounter.
I first wrote about this case in October when I worked at the Daily Journal; a reprint of the story is available online. eBay was represented by Cooley Godward Kronish partner John Crittenden, who has shut down several other "generic plus bay" web sites, most recently CoinBay.biz; and earlier sites that were more "colorful," such as KinkyBay, BrickBay, and NaziBay.
"Each one has its own amusing story, and the explanations have often been the same," Crittenden told me last year. "People have said, oh yeah, 'I have a dog named Bay'. Or, 'I meant a bay of water.' Well, what bay are you talking about? The explanations really don't hang together."
Photo: shabbir / flickr