French court has just ruled that eBay must pay 80,000 Euros (around $117,820 USD) to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA for allowing fake versions of their perfumes (Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy, Guerlain), to be auctioned off on the site. This LVMH win comes after a June ruling in which eBay was ordered to pay 38 million euros, or $55.7 million, for allowing the sale of fake LVMH merchandise.
eBay’s lawyers must be making a fortune, because the online auction website seems to always be in court with someone, both state-side and abroad. In fact, LVMH aside, eBay has been in ongoing court feuds with Hermes, L’Oréal, and Tiffany & Co., among others. The Internet auction company was ordered to pay Hermes 20,000 euros (about $31,058) for failing to monitor the authenticity of goods sold on their site. It was ruled in July in their case with Tiffany, that eBay “does not have the legal responsibility to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. The jewelry retailer’s lawyers have since presented written arguments to an appeals court asking for a reversal of the ruling,” while WWD recounts that a similar ruling was issued by a French court in their case against L’Oreal.
Perhaps I don’t understand our court system adequately enough, but those two differing rulings make absolutely no sense to me. How is one different from the other? As someone who uses eBay occasionally, I do think they have implemented measures to diminish the sale of counterfeits – and while it is the worst feeling to order something you thought was real only to find yourself stuck with a counterfeit, there is only so much eBay can do amidst a sea of dishonest sellers.