A group of eBay sellers and eBay themselves are being sued by L’Oréal for trademark violations relating to the company’s Lancôme brand. It’s reported that a number of UK sellers, who had purchased Lancôme products from the US and resold them via eBay UK, have been contacted by L’Oréal’s legal representatives, demanding details of sources, sales and profits.
An eBay spokesperson confirmed for TameBay today that eBay have received notification of legal proceedings from L’Oréal.
In a written statement, Lancôme UK told us that the company “wishes to protect the quality of the distribution of its products via its selective distribution networks and service to consumers. L’Oréal carries out monitoring of relevent activity and takes action where necessary to prevent infringement of its intellectual property rights.” Citing concerns for quality controls and health and safety laws, which may differ from one country to another, they went on “As well as counterfeit product, dealing in genuine L’Oréal product which has not been placed on the market in the European Union with L’Oréal’s explicit consent amounts to trademark infringement.”
While an EU directive and UK law do provide that items bought within the European Economic Area may be resold without interference by the original vendor, this principle does not apply internationally. Sellers who import from outside the EEA therefore do need to ascertain whether they can in fact resell their goods here.
If you’re one of the sellers concerned, we’d love to talk to you, so please get in touch.