Jacquelyn Tran, president and founder of Perfume Bay Inc, calls herself (or rather her company) ‘David’ on her blog. Can you guess who’s ‘Goliath’? eBay! How did eBay earn this dubious title from Ms. Tran?
Perfume Bay Inc is a small business operating (as far as I know) outside of eBay. It seems that eBay sued Perfume Bay Inc a few years back for trademark infringement issues, centered around the use of the word ‘bay’ in their company name. As the case worked its way through the court system, most of the counts were dismissed.
One nagging count for Ms. Tran is the fact that the court asked them to change their URL. I would guess the proximity of the letter ‘e’ at the end of perfume to ‘bay’ might be the legal basis for this.
Anyone who runs an online business knows how difficult it is to simply change a URL for an established business. Re-branding a mature business is an expensive, revenue consuming affair and Ms. Tran is not taking this as an acceptable answer.
You can read more details about this case, including links to legal documents on her blog (linked below).
What do you think? Does eBay have the right to the word ‘bay’ where there’s an ‘e’ nearby — even if it’s part of another word? Or was that a frivolous lawsuit on the part of eBay’s trademark legal team?
Blog: Make no Scents
The Website: Perfume Bay