EBay loses Dior trademark case in France

By , IDG News Service |  Legal

A French court has found eBay guilty of counterfeiting and fined the online auction site €80,000 (US$118,000).

The fine is far less than LVMH Group, which controls brands including Dior, asked for when filing the suit. "EBay is satisfied that the court rebuked Parfums Christian Dior's request for €4 million in damages," the auction company said in a statement.

LVMH had charged eBay with brand counterfeiting for allowing keywords for some LVMH brands to appear in advertisements.

"This decision gives credence to the requests made by Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain," LVMH said in a statement.

But the ruling, made by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance, is the opposite of a recent one made by a Belgium court, eBay said. In that case eBay won, on appeal, in a similar suit brought by Ralph Lauren, it said.

In addition to the fine, the tribunal forbids eBay from continuing the activity and will impose a €1,000 fine for each infringement, LVMH said. In addition, the tribunal will publish the rulings in three French or international newspapers and on the eBay.fr and eBay.com Web sites, LVMH said. The rulings have not yet appeared on eBay.com.

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