EU Court: eBay needs to take more responsibility

The European Court of Justice, the highest judiciary court in the European Union, has ruled that the auctioning site eBay has to take more responsibility for what is sold on its site. The court suggested that internet ecommerce sites need to take on a more active role in protecting trademarks when they're being abused on their own sites.

According to Reuters, the ruling was made in relation to allegations of trademark infringement originally filed by L'Oreal four years ago. It comes as the global cosmetic company claims the popular auction site is liable for the sale of counterfeit goods and illegal activity that it may otherwise choose to ignore. While some have mentioned that this may well serve as a warning to ecommerce sites, eBay is somewhat skeptical. 

"we have updated our measures to the new reality. We started many years ago. They are in place and I don't see what extra costs we would have ... on the basis of this judgment."

Only yesterday, Neowin covered a story in which a CD was posted on the auction site that claimed to contain a copy of a Windows 8 build. While that specific item has now been removed from the site, it raises the question as to how much involvement eBay and other online marketplaces take when safeguarding it from those that abuse trademarks and sell counterfeit goods.

The online marketplace is only going to get bigger as time moves forward and some sites are more known than others in attracting sellers that are not as genuine as they claim. It's expected, therefore, that companies such as L'Oreal wish to protect their property as much as possible. In response to the ruling today, the company said, 

"[this] is a step toward effectively combating the sale of counterfeiting brands and products via the internet".

Image Source: Steven Arnold

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10 Comments

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I agree that they don't do enough. Just do a search for Windows 7 or some random DS game, and you will find that at least 95% of the items listed are counterfeit. eBay inadvertently or otherwise profit from the sale of those goods.

Good luck with that. They honestly expect fleaBay to be able to police all their auction listings in a timely/efficient/thorough manner? I smell fleaBay fees jumping to pay for that...

Lots of fake stuff but there is also loads on Amazon as well. They both need to do better. Not too hard to avoid as a consumer if you research things a bit.

oceanmotion said,
Lots of fake stuff but there is also loads on Amazon as well. They both need to do better. Not too hard to avoid as a consumer if you research things a bit.

its not the consumers job to research if something fake.. If I walked into a grocery store and bought a steak and it turned out to be rat meat I would sue the grocery store..

I think Ebay has to control the sales a bit more because it scares away a huge amount of people.. I bought things off of there and they were recieved broken.. I got my money back from paypal but its just a huge hassle to go through to save a few bucks.. If it was safer on there then I would consider buying things again.

Yeah ok, you act as if eBay is the one selling the goods. That's like saying you are going to the mall tomorrow and some store sells you crap but instead of dealing with the store directly you sue the mall? Each person should be liable for their actions, the store selling you crap is liable, not the place where the store is. The owners of the mall didn't sell you jack! Talk about personal responsibilty, nobody believes they are responsible for themselves anymore. If i am walking around and i trip because i'm clumsy, sue the people that put in the sidewalk and sue the company of the shoes i'm wearing!!!

If you buy rat meat thinking it's steak then it's your fault you are eating rat meat for dinner. If you ever go buy anything, i don't care how simple, could be freaking pensils and you don't do some research on how a pensil looks and behaves and all that then that's your fault! Now the store should also get in trouble for selling something that it's not too!!

SHoTTa35 said,
Yeah ok, you act as if eBay is the one selling the goods. That's like saying you are going to the mall tomorrow and some store sells you crap but instead of dealing with the store directly you sue the mall? Each person should be liable for their actions, the store selling you crap is liable, not the place where the store is. The owners of the mall didn't sell you jack! Talk about personal responsibilty, nobody believes they are responsible for themselves anymore. If i am walking around and i trip because i'm clumsy, sue the people that put in the sidewalk and sue the company of the shoes i'm wearing!!!

If you buy rat meat thinking it's steak then it's your fault you are eating rat meat for dinner. If you ever go buy anything, i don't care how simple, could be freaking pensils and you don't do some research on how a pensil looks and behaves and all that then that's your fault! Now the store should also get in trouble for selling something that it's not too!!

I, too, long for the days when I could buy a box of cereal only to find out it was full of sawdust.