eBay loses French trade mark case

The IPKat has learnt from AFP that a French court has ruled that eBay must pay Hermes 20,000 euros for allowing counterfeit Hermes bags on its site. The court found that

“By selling Hermes bags and branded accessories on the eBay.fr site, and by failing to act within their powers to prevent reprehensible use of the site… [both eBay and the seller] committed acts of counterfeiting and imitation of French brand names ... to the detriment of Hermes international."

eBay must also publish the ruling on its homepage.

Counsel for Hermes argued that eBay was more than a mere passive intermediary, instead:

"eBay is an active player in the transaction because not only does it offer a number of services to improve the sale, but when it does not work well enough or fast enough, they intervene with the client…They are perfectly informed of the transactions since they take a percentage cut."

The IPKat isn’t sure about this ruling. He doubts whether someone at eBay really has knowledge of every transaction that is taking place. He reckons that forcing someone to check out if each branded item sold is real of counterfeit would make the business model untenable, which would remove a valuable service for consumers. Merpel comment, 20,000 euros for damage to a luxury brand – that's not a lot, is it?

eBay loses French trade mark case eBay loses French trade mark case Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, June 05, 2008 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. The text of the decision is available here (French only).

    Regarding the damages, you also have to consider that only two knock-off bags were sold in this case.

    Regarding the liability of auction sites, (as previously mentioned on pmdm), Charly McCreevy recently expressed the Commission position (click on "Answer" - top right).

    ReplyDelete

All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/p/want-to-complain.html

Powered by Blogger.