The U.K. High Court today ruled in favor of eBay, claiming that the company can’t be held legally accountable for the sale of counterfeit L’Oreal fragrances and creams on its online auction site in the U.K. The ruling follows similar decisions by Belgian and French courts, which have ruled in eBay’s favor in three of the five cases L’Oreal brought in 2007 against the company.
This is fantastic news for counterfeiters, who can now keep on duping customers into buying fake L’Oreal cosmetics through the popular web service.
In all seriousness, I think this is a logical ruling, in the sense that eBay is and has always been merely a facilitator of trade and can hardly be expected to verify the authenticity of each and every product that goes up for sale on its auction website. It has in the past taken a lot of steps to do its part in fighting online crime, and recent rulings in European courts fortunately reflect that.
In a statement, Richard Ambrose, Head of Trust & Safety for eBay, reiterated that “cooperation and dialogue is what is needed, not litigation”.