French court penalises Ebay €39 million

LVMH, owner of luxury brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton, has won a case against Ebay for its role in the sale of fake luxury goods. A French court awarded LVMH compensation of €39 million ($66 million) for damage to brand image and moral harm.

Ebay immediately said it would appeal the ruling.

Ebay says that it is doing all it can through its VeRO (verified rights owners) program which allows trade mark owners to request the removal of counterfeit listings. LVMH disagrees, saying that Ebay profits from the sale of counterfeit goods.

An analogous situation: landlords in countries like the US and Australia are not responsible for their tenants selling counterfeit products, whereas China has taken a hard line and fines landlords (see my earlier post on a Louis Vuitton case). A landlord is under no obligation to kick out a tenant even after that tenant is caught. Arguably, Ebay is in the same position as the landlord of a market.

Should Ebay be responsible for the sale of counterfeit goods online?

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