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Tide turns against eBay over fakes

28 September 2009Written by ATG Reporter

ON September 17, eBay delivered a petition to the European parliament demanding a law change to stop luxury brands controlling where their goods are sold.

The 750,000-signature petition – 250,000 of the signatures from the UK – aimed to capitalise on a string of court successes for the online giant against Christian Dior and others across the world in recent months.

Where they had won in court, eBay had successfully argued that they did everything they could to prevent sales of fakes and went out of their way to remove offending material from their site as soon as they were made aware of it.

However, only a day later, on September 18, the tide turned once again as a French court ordered eBay to pay €80,000 compensation to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury perfumes.

An LVMH spokesman said: “The court found that in using key words from certain LVMH brands, eBay had committed several acts of counterfeiting.” Further breaches would attract additonal penalties of €1000 a time, the court warned.

The use of luxury brand names is also at the centre of a dispute between LVMH and Google.

Another French court ruled that Google acted illegally by allowing other companies to use LVMH names as key search words for adverts on Google.

LVMH complained that some of the companies involved were marketing counterfeit or replica goods.

When Google appealed, the matter was referred to the European court, who have to decide whether Google’s policy is a breach of the EU’s Trade Mark Directive. A ruling is expected by early next year.

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