EU court sees responsibilities of online retailers

Jul 13, 2011

(AP) -- Online retailers like eBay Inc. can be held responsible for the infringement of trademarks by goods they sell, Europe's top court said Tuesday.

National courts can order online retailers to stop trademark infringement and prevent similar incidents in the future, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said.

The ECJ's clarification of EU laws came in response to questions referred to the court by the High Court in London in 2009. The U.K. court was seeking the ECJ's opinion in a case brought by French cosmetics company L'Oreal SA against , which is based in San Jose, Calif.

L'Oreal complained that some of its products that were not deemed for sale in Europe were being offered on eBay and that the retailer was not making enough of an effort to prevent such sales.

While the ECJ said it was up to national courts to decide whether there was an infringement and order it to be stopped, it said that companies promoting the sale of goods online can be held responsible for what goes on on their websites.

"When the operator has played an active role' of that kind, it cannot rely on the exemption from liability which EU law confers, under certain conditions, on online such as operators of internet marketplaces," the court said.

However, the sided with eBay on one count, saying that online shopping sites are not using trademarks if they allow customers to display brand signs on their websites.

The ECJ's clarification could act as a reference in similar cases that have been brought against eBay by other companies complaining about counterfeits and .

But eBay Europe's senior director for government relations said Stefan Krawczyk that the judgment "provides some clarity on certain issues, and ensures that all brands can be traded online in Europe."

Explore further: A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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.

NY court revives Tiffany's false ad claim vs. eBay

Apr 01, 2010

(AP) -- EBay Inc. might be violating false-advertising laws if it does not warn consumers that some of the Tiffany products offered by sellers on its Web site are not authentic, a federal appeals court said Thursday.

Supreme Court rejects Tiffany appeal of eBay ruling

Nov 29, 2010

The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by luxury retailer Tiffany of a ruling that eBay cannot be held liable for trademark infringement for counterfeit items sold through its site.

EBay calls on EU to change luxury brand rules

Sep 17, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc. called Thursday on the European Union to change antitrust rules that allow luxury manufacturers to choose who can sell their branded goods online.

eBay fined in France for selling upscale perfumes

Nov 30, 2009

(AP) -- Online auction site eBay Inc. was fined euro1.7 million ($2.5 million) by a Paris court on Monday for failing to stop the sale of famous perfume brands like Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and ...

Recommended for you

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

3 hours ago

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

Sep 16, 2014

Sure, you have a lot to do today—laundry, bills, dinner—but it's never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.

Web filter lifts block on gay sites

Sep 16, 2014

A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.

Protecting infrastructure with smarter CPS

Sep 16, 2014

Security of IT networks is continually being improved to protect against malicious hackers. Yet when IT networks interface with infrastructures such as water and electric systems to provide monitoring and control capabilities, ...

User comments : 0