EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2040 - May 13, 2009     3 of 4

eBay Fends off L'Oreal's Counterfeiting Lawsuit

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AFP reported this morning that eBay is off the hook in a lawsuit filed by L'Oreal for selling counterfeit goods. A Paris court dismissed the case on Wednesday saying eBay had fulfilled its duty and that "preventing the sale of counterfeit goods on the eBay platform encounters major difficulties when it comes to perfumes and cosmetics."

Retail Week covered the news and quoted eBay's head of trust and safety in the UK and Ireland Richard Ambrose stating that 99 percent of all items listed on eBay are genuine products. eBay UK detailed the company's commitment to fight counterfeiting and piracy in a press release issued in March.

Bloomberg's reporting of the news revealed that L'Oreal had argued eBay was a participant in sales, not just the venue on which they were sold. The news outlet said the Paris commercial court had agreed with LVMH in a case last year that eBay does more than provide a site for sales.

Update 5/13/09: eBay issued a statement about the case. Mary Huser, Deputy General Counsel for eBay said, "This is a clear legal victory for eBay and important victory for French consumers. We are delighted that eBay's meaningful efforts to fight counterfeits online have been recognised by the court as has our status as an internet hosting provider.

"Today, 99% of all items listed on eBay have no suspicion of counterfeits. We welcome the invitation to resolve the outstanding matters in an amicable way as we have always believed that cooperation is the best way to fight counterfeits. Ongoing dialogue and collaboration, rather than litigation, is the only way to address these complex issues, which is in everyone's best interests."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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