EBay wins court fight against L'Oreal in UK

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- A British court on Friday ruled 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 campaign against the online auction giant.

L'Oreal SA has taken Inc. to court across Europe, suing in Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain over the sale of fake fragrances and cosmetics on the site.

L'Oreal claims there is an increasing volume of counterfeit goods being sold on eBay. The online auctioneer said negotiations between the companies on the issue broke down because L'Oreal was being unreasonable.

Justice Richard David Arnold ruled in London's High Court that eBay Europe was not liable for trademark infringements committed by its users.

EBay said in a statement that the British ruling was "a victory for consumers and the thousands of entrepreneurs who sell legitimate goods on eBay every day."

A call placed with L'Oreal's London office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

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 settlement. Other cases elsewhere in Europe are still pending.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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