Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
liability, trademark, uk

Companies:
ebay, l'oreal



L'Oreal Loses To eBay In The UK This Time... Where Else Will It Try?

from the if-you-fail...-just-sue-elsewhere dept

You may recall that L'Oreal has been on an incredibly misguided legal campaign against eBay, blaming the company for the fact that some of its users are selling fake L'Oreal products on the site. Rather than go after the actual counterfeiters, L'Oreal insists that eBay's at fault. After losing its lawsuit in Belgium last summer, the company filed nearly identical lawsuits in the UK, France, Germany and Spain, hoping that somewhere one of those courts would side with it. So far, it's not looking good. Two weeks back, even France sided with eBay, even though it had ruled otherwise in similar cases. And now comes the news that late last week, the UK sided with eBay as well. At some point, will L'Oreal finally realize that maybe it's barking up the wrong tree?

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  • identicon
    SteveD, 26 May 2009 @ 2:58am

    Ebay were complaining on the news that L'Oreal were simply upset people were selling their cosmetics heavily discounted on the site, and wanted to exert greater control over the market.

    Apparently the L'Oreal case fell apart when their council was eventually forced to admit that 15 'imitation' goods they'd supplied as samples of what could be purchased over Ebay were in fact real L'Oreal products.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MadJo (profile), 26 May 2009 @ 3:33am

    Too much money was spent on this legal tactic to back out now, they will continue until their inevitable demise.

    Well it seems that way in business and politics nowadays: "Yes, we know that we are going the wrong way, but we spent too much money to reverse course now, so we'll keep on going down this route until we can't go any further."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lulz, 26 May 2009 @ 4:21am

    Too much money was spent on this legal tactic to back out now, they will continue until their inevitable demise

    ...or they ignore the sunk cost and pick up the pieces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brad Eleven, 26 May 2009 @ 4:45am

    re: Too Much Money

    Quoth MadJo:
    Too much money was spent on this ... tactic to back out now ...
    Well put. This seems to be normal in a climate of shifting paradigms. See also the entertainment, auto, religious, and other industries. It's tragically comical to witness the idiocy of paying lawyers to try to recapture something that is long gone.

    "There, there, dear--I know you love your kitty. Don't worry. If the 'lost pet' signs don't work, we'll have our legal team file briefs to get your beloved Muffy back."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Marcel de Jong (profile), 27 May 2009 @ 4:00am

      Re: re: Too Much Money

      Also in politics.
      Case in point the Dutch government and the Joint Strike Fighter. That project has cost quite a few arms and legs already, and everyone knows it's a bad investment. "But we can't stop now, we've invested too much money into this, so we'll keep on investing."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2009 @ 4:51am

    While I do not side with L'Oreal on this issue - I will mention that Ebay's complacent attitude towards the goods sold on its site (from which it profits) is increasingly unacceptable. There are many items offered that violate various laws and trademarks. While it's not up to Ebay to assume liability for these auctions - it should, at least, cooperate with companies who are trying to crack down on fraud and infringement rather than through caution to the wind while continuing to derive profit. After all - If Ebay makes money of the sale of a fake L'Oreal product - isn't it just as responsible as the member selling it in the first place? Has Ebay refused to take commission on these items? Somehow - I doubt it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killer_Tofu (profile), 26 May 2009 @ 6:25am

      Re:

      You are right. The government should shut down GM and Ford too. Because after all, robbers use the vehicles as getaway cars. They do not refuse to accept payment for the robbers taking the vehicles to be used in said illegal activities. This must stop now.

      Oh wait, that is really really stupid logic. Nevermind.
      Lets follow the actual laws on this one, and if a crime was commited charge the person who commited it instead of the tool maker. Doing otherwise just because the tool maker is an easier target is a very unjust endeavor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2009 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re:

        Did you even read what he wrote?
        He said nothing about laws or the government forcing ebay to take actions, he said ebay should take actions by their own will because it's the right thing to do

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 26 May 2009 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      I will mention that Ebay's complacent attitude towards the goods sold on its site (from which it profits) is increasingly unacceptable. There are many items offered that violate various laws and trademarks. While it's not up to Ebay to assume liability for these auctions - it should, at least, cooperate with companies who are trying to crack down on fraud and infringement rather than through caution to the wind while continuing to derive profit.

      Actually, eBay does exactly that. If alerted to fraudulent products it's very quick (sometimes too quick) to take it down.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    some old guy, 26 May 2009 @ 5:09am

    I will mention that Ebay's complacent attitude towards the goods sold on its site (from which it profits) is increasingly unacceptable.

    Another Logic Fail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 26 May 2009 @ 7:40am

    Better Analogy

    While walking the streets of New York City, a gentleman with a folding table and an impressive display of watches offered to sell me a genuine Rolex for far below MSRP - below wholesale, even.

    Should Rolex sue the city of New York for not doing a better job of policing their streets and allowing the city to become a veritable black market for illegal knock offs?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tracy, 26 May 2009 @ 10:00am

    L'Oreal

    I own a hair salon in Houston Texas. L'Oreal fake stuff was around back when I opened my salon back in 1983. L'Oreal knows good and well their fake stuff has been around for years. Copy cats are everywhere. You can buy fake L'Oreal, Wella, and Redken, you name it you can buy it fake! . eBay did not start or invent fake stuff. They used to sell it to Salons and dollar or thrift stores. Dollar stores sell this fake stuff big time thank god.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheStupidOne, 26 May 2009 @ 12:23pm

    If ...

    If eBay is found liable for fake L'Oreal stuff, would L'Oreal be found liable is some kid committed suicide by drinking L'Oreal stuff?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2009 @ 3:37pm

    how would ebay know which auctions to take down?

    would l'oreal have to prove that the seller is providing fakes, or just accuse them of doing so?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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