European Theatre of Operations: Everyone v. eBay
L'Oreal is determined to stop the sale of counterfeit perfume on eBay, and potentially expose some legal disunity in the European Union at the same time. The French cosmetics company earlier this week opened its case in British court, which leaves the list of countries in which it has taken action against the online auction giant at France, Belgium, the U.K., Germany, and plans for Spain. L'Oreal lost its case in Belgium last year; a decision in France -- whose courts earlier ruled in favor of both LVMH and Hermes in similar claims against eBay -- is expected as early as today.
In related news, Rolex lost its most recent salvo in in a long-running dispute against eBay in Germany. In an earlier ruling, Germany's highest civil court had decided that while eBay couldn't be liable for damages, it did have to monitor its site once it became aware that counterfeit sales were occurring. On remand, the lower court found that eBay is complying with this requirement.
And across the pond, eBay's program allowing rights-holders to report specific instances of counterfeit merchandise offered for sale in the eBay marketplace was sufficient to satisfy the trial court. Tiffany's appeal (still) pending.
What was that about shopping victoriously?