Court tells L’Oreal: eBay isn't responsible for fakes

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A French court has ruled that eBay is not liable for counterfeit L’Oreal products sold on the site, mirroring a Belgian court’s decision last August.

L’Oreal sued eBay in four countries, but this is a major win in France for eBay, having been fined €38.6million in a similar case against LVMH group and €20,000 against Hermes.

eBay do enough by “putting in place means to fight counterfeits on its online platform, has fulfilled its obligation in good- faith” and the judge went on to say “The court considers that preventing counterfeits will only be effective through a close collaboration between rights holders and eBay”

I guess it’s time for L’Oreal to sit down with eBay and work out how to allow their products to be sold on the site whilst getting to grips with the VeRO program to remove counterfeit products whilst leaving genuine items available for sale.

Edited to add…

“This is a clear legal victory for eBay and an important victory for consumers. We are delighted that eBay’s meaningful efforts to fight counterfeits online have been recognised by the court. Today, 99% of all items listed on eBay are genuine products and we continue to work hard to ensure eBay is a safe and trusted place to shop.
We are also delighted that our status as an internet hosting provider has been acknowledged, and we welcome the invitation to resolve the outstanding matters in an amicable way; 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 effectively identify and remove any counterfeit items which do appear on our site.”
– Richard Ambrose, Head of Trust and Safety for eBay UK and Ireland

9 Responses

  1. Internet hosting provider?


    I think the amount of involvement Ebay are engaging in at the selling end of the process, makes them a bit more than that maybe?

    Or does it?

  2. > Or does it?

    eBay’s soon to be updated User Agreement will remove the ‘only a venue’ defense.

    * For covered claims that meet the conditions and are not excluded, buyers are required to destroy an item if they claim it is not authentic. Once a buyer confirms destruction of the item, eBay will reimburse the buyer.
    * For covered claims that meet the conditions and are not excluded, sellers agree to not hold buyers or eBay responsible for the destruction of an item if it is not believed to be authentic.

    In California (U.S.) that’s covered under “California Criminal Law, Crimes Against Property”, as the “item” does not belong to eBay.

    i.e. Person E who doesn’t have title to a car, tells Person B to use a sledgehammer on a car Person B just bought. Then Person E gives Person B money, and turns around and takes the same amount of money from the seller and original owner of the car (Person C). In real life, who’s ultimately out money, and who goes to jail?

    “Let me get this straight. You WANT me to steal?”
    Alexander Mundy, It Takes A Thief

  3. “Today, 99% of all items listed on eBay are genuine products ”

    sounds rather good doesnt it?

    until you remember they used to trot out ” only 0.001% of listings are fraudulent”

    or maybe I just need a new calculator?

  4. Give em a break BS, there are only about 10,000,000 listings on eBay UK so 1% means there are no more than 10,0000 non-genuine products….. actually that’s still quite a lot 😀 Wonder if it includes the ones VeRO partners take down saying they’re dodgy when they’re not?

    I’m guessing that eBay distinguish between fraudulent as in “looking to rip you off” and counterfeit as in “loads of buyers are more than happy to buy a fake so long as they know that’s what they’re getting”.

  5. Hey, maybe you could do a post on whether Ebay is “merely” a venue anymore Chris?

    At some point or other.

    It would be interesting to hear peoples views on the subject.


  6. #5 Well let’s put it this way….. they don’t have any product to sell and the French courts have confirmed that they’re merely a venue (aka Internet Hosting Provider). Not much left to discuss on that topic…..

    ….unless you meant to ask how much should an Internet Hosting Provider stick their noses into how their hosted clients conduct their businesses 😉

  7. 10,0000 ???

    maybe you should leave the making up numbers to ebay…lol

    I have a hatred for %ages and stats, funny richard choose to say 99% were genuine and not sorry we still have @ 10,000 fakes listed.

    I love ebay even though some days I think it hates me…lol

  8. BS – 1% of 10,000,000 (10 million) is 100,000 (one hundred thousand) not 10,000 (ten thousand) 🙂

    Which means of course, as a guesstimate, that there are 100,000 fakes on


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