EBay (San Jose, CA), the leader in internet auctions, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit last Monday seeking damages and an injunction from substantially smaller BidBay. EBay?s lawyers stated that BibBay?s use of the word ?bay? in its title, the ?my BidBay? function, and rainbow colored logo were all copied from eBay and used to attract buyers & sellers who would be going to eBay.

?We are aware of a number of instance where users weren?t clear or wondered about the connection between us and BidBay,? Jay Monahan, eBay?s associate general counsel for intellectual property, stated in an Associated Press story. ?It?s surprising this site is as egregious as it is.?

BidBay.com, was launched January 15, 2000 by George Tannous, a former Internal Revenue Service agent who said he ?had started trading on ebay.com in 1999, but quickly became frustrated by the unfriendly attitude and lack of service.? Ironically, Mr. Tannous bought the domain name, ?bidbay.com? for $1000 in an eBay auction. Ebay claims Tannous is simply a cybersquatter who has bought other domain names such as NewYorkTimesOnline.com and DominosPizzaOnline.com. However, no claims have been made that Tannous requested money for his site or domain name from eBay, additionally, unlike other cyber squatters, Tannous did develop an actual website.

BidBay.com, a Nevada Corporation, based in Tujunga, CA claims its site has over 4 million users with over 1 million items listed for auction. Further, it claims to be 2nd worldwide to eBay.