This morning, a Paris court ruled that eBay is not liable for the sale of any counterfeit L’Oreal products on the site. The case came about when L’Oreal alleged that eBay was profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods.
The judge ruled that eBay proved it was fulfilling its “obligation” to try to prevent the sale of fake goods. This is the second such case L’Oreal has lost against eBay, following a similar ruling in Belgium last year.
eBay spends nearly $10 million a year fighting online crime and counterfeits. In a statement, Mary Huser, deputy general counsel for eBay said:
“This is a clear legal victory for eBay and important victory for French consumers. We are delighted that eBay’s meaningful efforts to fight counterfeits online have been recognized by the court, as has our status as an internet-hosting provider.
“Today, 99% of all items listed on eBay have no suspicion of counterfeits. We welcome the invitation to resolve the outstanding matters in an amicable way, as we have always believed that cooperation is the best way to fight counterfeits. Ongoing dialogue and collaboration, rather than litigation, is the only way to address these complex issues, which is in everyone’s best interests.”
Next week, eBay is expecting another ruling on the same case in the UK, and although today’s win is encouraging, the company remains mindful that there are still potential future battles to be fought. That said, today’s ruling in France follows similar legal victories in the U.S. (Tiffany), Belgium (L’Oreal) and Germany (Sternjakob).
eBay hopes the results in the L’Oreal case will serve as a caution to those companies considering litigation against eBay – and encourage them to discuss the issues through constructive dialogue instead.
TameBay: Court tells L’Oreal: eBay isn’t responsible for fakes
FT.com/techblog: Ebay wins French L’Oréal fakes lawsuit