The European Court of Justice
on July 12 ruled
that member states could hold online sites liable if they list counterfeits.
The ruling came in a case
L’Oreal brought against online auction site eBay.
The court ruled sites are not
exempt from liability if they are aware that they have listed infringing
product, and fail to “act promptly” to remove it.
It also said that national
courts of member states can order online companies to take measures to avoid
infringement, and be ordered to provide trademark holders with assistance to identity
In the United States, Tiffany
has had a tougher time in its legal battles with eBay, with courts ruling
that the trademark holder has the responsibility to police auction sites, not
the site itself. The two parties’ legal battle came to an end in November when the
Court declined to hear Tiffany’s appeal.