Business Impact

EBay wins court fight against L'Oreal in UK

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.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look: exclusive early access to important stories, before they’re available to anyone else

    Insider Conversations: listen in on in-depth calls between our editors and today’s thought leaders

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.