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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