eBay may be liable for fake goods sold on site

  Kevscar1 14:46 27 Jul 2011

about time

The European Court of Justice has ruled that eBay, the popular online auction website, and other online marketplaces, could be liable for counterfeit goods sold on its websites.

In the ruling, the court stated that any online retailer who played an 'active role' in promoting counterfeit goods could be held liable for trademark violations.

It added that national courts had the right to halt infringements and to prevent future infringements where necessary, though actions should be 'effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and must not create barriers to legitimate trade'. Read more

  interzone55 15:05 27 Jul 2011

Do you have a link, because I thought this was already the case when LVMH took Ebay to the European courts over the sale of fake Louis Vuitton handbags on the site

  Kevscar1 15:38 27 Jul 2011

e-mail from consumer action group

  Forum Editor 19:46 27 Jul 2011

*alan14 *

You're right about Louis Vuitton. Ebay was fined over the sale of fake products in 2008, but that was by a French Court. What the European Court of Justice has done is in response to a case brought by L'Oreal against Ebay in the UK.

The ruling stresses that in order to be liable an online shopping site must play "an active role" in the sale by - for instance - optimising the presentation of the online offers for sale or promoting those offers.

It doesn't mean that Ebay, or anyone else, will be prosecuted every time someone sells a fake item.

  interzone55 20:16 27 Jul 2011

Forum Editor


Personally I dislike Ebay intensely as I feel it's little different to a car boot sale, with all the inherent problems of dodgy sales of goods of unknown provenance.

The problem is that my partner makes a good portion of her income from an Ebay shop (selling new stuff with guarantees, she's a power seller), and I paid the deposit for my new car from money made selling some home clearence stuff we bought from Ebay on a car boot sale.

I guess that makes me a hypocrite :-)

  Quickbeam 08:03 28 Jul 2011

"it's little different to a car boot sale" But without the stink of cheap ratburger wafting across the field.

Foe someone that has an intense dislike of Ebay, you seem to be making a good and profitable use of it... I keep meaning to start selling my accumulated junk as I reckon it can run into several thousand pounds worth.

  Kevscar1 08:55 28 Jul 2011

I quit using E-bay many years back. 5 times a reported a guy to them who had sold over 2000 copies of pirate Microsoft software and they did nothing. Finally I e-mailed them saying if nothing was doone within 7 days I would forward everything to microsoft with a suggestion they sued for loss of income and damages. They banned him but it was obious he was back 2 days later with a slightly diffent name.

  interzone55 09:24 28 Jul 2011


I used to work for Time Computers in their service centre, supervising repairs and returns.

One job was to remove the Windows COA sticker from scrapped PCs and send them back to Microsoft for refund. The stickers were taped to sheets of A4.

At the time a lot of the COA sticker sheets were turning up on ebay, seems that a couple of sheets out of every batch that were being sent back were being removed and sold. They were totally useless as OEM windows licences are tied to the manufacturer, so can only be activated on a PC with a Time motherboard, there's ways round this that I'll not go into, but I would imagine that anyone who bought a sheet of these used stickers that didn't work would find the account closed soon after the sale was processed.

As a company Time took legal action as soon as this was highlighted to us, we found the sellers, had Ebay trace the accounts and sacked and prosecuted the sellers, but at the time we weren't the only UK based OEM with the same problem...

  interzone55 09:26 28 Jul 2011


Our local Car Boot is quite posh, we don't have ratburgers, rather we have Rat Au Van

(apologies to Baldrick for stealing his joke)

  spuds 11:31 28 Jul 2011

For a number of years eBay have been working with some of the big name companies in trying to combat possible counterfeiting. Details have been given to the companies for conducting their own investigations, because eBay doesn't have facilities for proving an item is counterfeit, they can only observe the way the item was described or offered.

eBay in the past and now withdraw adverts that are possibly suspect, and then inform the seller as to the reasons why, usually stating that the advert was not in compliance of eBay terms and conditions. Accusing someone of selling dodgy items, can be on very risky grounds!.

  Kevscar1 17:00 28 Jul 2011

Spuds They could just read the feedback, This guy had hundreds saying fake but good.

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