Ebay faces liability for fake goods adverts

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 13.7.11
Publication Date 13/07/2011
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Online marketplaces – such as Ebay – will have to remove advertisements for fake goods from their sites and be careful about the assistance they give sellers in promoting products, in order to avoid being held liable for trademark infringements, following a judgement in the European Court of Justice in July 2011.

The ruling followed a case brought by L’Oréal, the French cosmetics group, against the sale of branded goods on Ebay four years ago. It will have consequences for the way online marketplaces are run. Luxury brand owners have complained for years that the growth of the internet has facilitated the trade in counterfeit goods.

In the judgment the ECJ provided clarification on the liability of companies operating internet marketplaces for trade mark infringements committed by users. National courts must be able to order those companies to take measures intended not only to bring to an end infringements of intellectual property rights but also to prevent further infringements of that kind.

Related Link(s)
ECJ: Press Release, No.69, 2011: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-324/09 L'Oréal and Others http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_77769/
ESO: Background information: Industry agreement on fight against online counterfeit goods http://www.europeansources.info/record/industry-agreement-on-fight-against-online-counterfeit-goods/
BBC News, 13.7.11: eBay 'may be liable' for sale of fake goods, court says http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14127465

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