Ford has dropped a lawsuit against 13 individuals accused of selling counterfeit products with the automaker's trademarks, according to The Detroit News. The company originally wanted to acquire names, addresses, telephone numbers, bank account numbers and emails from sites like eBay and PayPal without informing the accused, but a federal magistrate judge in Detroit initially denied the request, ordering the sites instead to notify its users.
Ford appealed, saying notification would allow defendants time to destroy evidence and possibly flee before Ford and its lawyers could obtain their identities. The judge eventually relented, allowing Ford access to names and addresses but blocking other personal information. Ford withdrew the suit last week anyway.
The Detroit News reports a 2007 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study indicated that Ford loses around $1 billion per year to counterfeit auto parts. The report spurred the manufacturer to pursue offenders more vigorously. Counterfeit parts drag in $12 billion per year world wide, with $3 billion of that figure coming from the U.S. alone.