French court slams eBay with €1.7M fine over LVMH product resale dispute

[France] A commercial court in Paris has fined eBay €1.7 million euros (roughly £1.6 million) for allegedly not sticking to an injunction banning users from selling on products of luxury goods conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH in short).

Allowing the LVMH perfumes and cosmetics to be purchased by Frenchmen on its French and UK website according to the ruling violated a prior court order to remove all such postings (June 2008), part of a €38 million verdict saying eBay had not done enough to stop the sale of counterfeited LVMH items.

The Parisian court today issued a further fine against eBay after it was revealed that apparently more than 1,300 LVMH items have been posted to the auction site since the injunction was issued.

Ebay, which has since the 2008 ruling implemented software to filter its listings in order to prevent French users from accessing LVMH-branded items (even if they are unused and authentic), has evidently contested the ruling.

Alex Von Schiermeister, director of eBay Europe, said the fine was “disproportionate” given that the company had effectively complied with the injunction.

Its appeal will be heard in May 2010.