LONDON (AP) – A British court ruled Friday that Internet marketplace eBay is not liable for bogus beauty products sold on its Web site, dealing a blow to cosmetics company L’Oreal’s legal campaign against the online auction giant.
In a written judgment handed down at London’s High Court, Justice Richard David Arnold ruled that eBay Europe was not liable for trademark infringements committed by its users. EBay called the ruling “a victory for consumers,” although L’Oreal noted that the Arnold had made several suggestions for measures to help prevent trademark infringement.
L’Oreal SA took eBay Inc. to court across Europe, suing in Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain over the sale of fake fragrances and cosmetics on the site.
The British legal rebuff to L’Oreal was one of several recently dealt to high-end brands in their attacks on the online auctioneer. In February, eBay won in a suit brought by the Rolex Group over the sale of counterfeit watches. In July of last year, it won its U.S. case against Tiffany & Co., which sued over counterfeit jewelry.
The decisions haven’t all gone in eBay’s favor. In June of last year a French court ordered eBay to pay more than $61 million to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. Earlier this month, a French court ordered L’Oreal and eBay to settle their differences, giving them until May 25 to come up with a mediated agreement.
The outcome of that mediation will be closely watched in the luxury, fashion and cosmetics industries, according to fashion law expert Susan Scafidi of Fordham Law School in New York. But she said in a statement that legal opinion seemed to be settling against those “who have argued that, like a brick and mortar landlord, eBay should be assume significant liability for fakes sold on its site.”
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click
Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.
The worst technology of 2021
Face filters, billionaires in space, and home-buying algorithms that overpay all made our annual list of technology gone wrong.
The radical intervention that might save the “doomsday” glacier
Researchers are exploring whether building massive berms or unfurling underwater curtains could hold back the warm waters degrading ice sheets.
In a further blow to the China Initiative, prosecutors move to dismiss a high-profile case
MIT professor Gang Chen was one of the most prominent scientists charged under the China Initiative, a Justice Department effort meant to counter economic espionage and national security threats.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.