eBay expects "increased litigation" in Germany

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eBay have revealed that a German court has said they must do more to halt the sale of counterfeit goods on their site. The judgement by the Federal Supreme Court, Germany’s highest, is part of a long-running dispute between the auction site and Montres Rolex SA, over the sale of fake Rolex watches. Rolex claim unfair competition: at issue is the question of whether low start prices, with a bar currently set at €800, are themselves indicative that the item being sold is not genuine.

In the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, eBay revealed the court’s decision that they must take “reasonable measures to prevent recurrence once it is informed of clearly identified infringement”. In certain circumstances, their responsibility to act against suspected counterfeit sellers might begin “upon first notice of infringement”. It continued: “We expect that this ruling will likely result in increased litigation against us in Germany, although we do not currently believe that it will require a significant change in our business practices.”



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