AFP report that eBay was convicted in France today, for allowing the sale of counterfeit Hermes bags on the site with EUR 20,000 to be paid in damages.
This is a first in France, where eBay have been held jointly responsible for items sold on the site. The court has apparently ordered them to publish the ruling on the for the next three months.
eBay also have outstanding court cases with Louis Vuitton & Christian Dior in Europe, Tiffany in the US and French cosmetics giant L’Oréal have sued eBay in five EU countries.
eBay have always defended the inability to adjudge whether a product is fake or not, as they never handle the goods which individual sellers place for sale on the site.
Richard Ambrose, Head of eBay Trust & Safety, has in the past said “We hate having counterfeits on the site; they make us look bad.” but also emphasised that eBay need the help of rights’ owners to remove counterfeit items from sale.
Working with rights owners doesn’t appear to have been enough in this case, although at least eBay haven’t been held totally responsible. The damages were ordered to be paid jointly with the woman who put the three fake Hermes bags up for sale.