Manufacturer Claims eBaying Its Car Parts Violates "Intellectual Property Rights"

Manufacturers are getting eBay auctions canceled for selling their products “too cheaply,” reports the Consumer Law & Policy blog

Innovate! Technology shut down Colon’s auctions because he wasn’t complying with their minimum advertised pricing. Colon buys his stuff from authorized wholesalers. In responding to Colon v. Innovate! Technology, Inc., No. 07-21349 (S.D. Fla.) [big PDF], IT cited the recent Supreme Court decision, Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, which overturned an 80-year old law against price-fixing, saying, “manufacturers have the right to sell [their] products at the retail level at a minimum price.”

In Merle Norman Cosmetics v. LaBarbera, No. 07-60811 (S.D. Fla.), eBayer LaBarbera says she buys the makeup at flea markets. Merle says she buys it from salons, which violates an agreement Merle made with the salons to not sell the makeup online. Merle asserts its right to “require dealers to charge certain resale prices to promote interbrand competition,” and that “the law is well settled that manufacturers like [Merle Norman] have the right to control the manner of distribution of their products.”

Both these suits are pretty ridiculous (come one, getting sued for violating someone else’s contract??), but it just shows how the Leegin ruling gave succor to the crackpot forces of anti-competitive, anti-consumerism.

Companies Claim Right to Interfere with eBay Auctions for Charging Too Little [Consumer Law & Policy]
(Photo: Ryan Fanshaw Photography)