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Ebay Beats L’Oreal in UK Counterfeit Goods Case

Online auction giant eBay has won a trademark infringement case brought against it by luxury goods maker L’Oreal (which also owns Yves Saint Laurent and Lancome), in which L’Oreal had tried to argue that eBay was liable for trademark infringements from users selling counterfeit goods on the service. While the court essentially agreed eBay could be going more to prevent trademark infringement, it ruled the auction giant doesn’t have any liability for trademark infringements committed by its users.

The decision follows similar judgments in Belgium and (just last week) in France, although L’Oreal won two cases in Germany that involved counterfeit perfumes and products sold without packaging.

The UK court suggested that eBay could do more to filter listings before they went up on the site, as well as require sellers to disclose their names and addresses. The court also suggested eBay should be more consistent with their polices regarding high-risk products and unboxed items, as well as place greater weight on negative feedback and apply sanctions more aggressively.

eBay head of trust and safety, Richard Ambrose, hopes the judgement can help both companies put the litigation behind them and work cooperatively to address issues of counterfeit and not-for-sale goods appearing on the site.

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