LVMH / eBay – The Paris Court of Appeal Confirms eBay’s Liability

The Paris Court of Appeal has today found eBay liable for selling on its websites, between 2001 and 2006, counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior products as well as Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and Kenzo perfumes in violation of the selective distribution networks put in place by these brands.

The ruling confirms the decision by the Paris Commercial Court on June 30, 2008, which established the principle of eBay’s liability for engaging in the sale of counterfeit products as well as products reserved for selective distribution. This decision also dismissed eBay’s claim for exemption on the ground that it was acting as a mere provider of hosting services.

In addition, the Court prohibits eBay from direct or indirect violation of selective distribution networks in the future.

Today’s ruling further orders eBay Inc. and eBay AG to pay penalties amounting to 5.7 million Euros. It also gives the possibility for the claimants to seek redress before foreign courts for damages suffered in their jurisdictions.

LVMH welcomes the establishment of this case-law, which constitutes a major step in the further protection of consumers.

The Court’s ruling helps to clarify the rules applicable to e-commerce in order to prevent illicit online practices and to ensure greater legal certainty to the benefit of consumers operating online.

The ruling confirms the importance of selective distribution, which ensures the authenticity and quality of products for consumers. Selective distribution also generates numerous jobs and contributes to the ongoing worldwide success of European luxury goods brands.