PARIS — L’Oréal and eBay have settled their long-standing legal proceedings, the companies said jointly Wednesday.
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Details of this settlement, including financial terms in favor of L’Oréal, are confidential,” the firms said. “L’Oréal acknowledges eBay’s commitment in the fight against intellectual property infringement. This settlement agreement follows the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union of July 12, 2011. The parties believe that cooperation, rather than litigation, is the way forward to fight against counterfeiting.”
The decision referred to was for the case involving the French beauty giant’s allegations of trademark infringement on eBay. It was ruled that eBay may be liable for trademark infringements made by users in its site if it plays an active role in their use.
The court stated at the time: “When the operator has played an ‘active role’ of that kind, it cannot rely on the exemption from liability which EU law confirms, under certain conditions, on online service providers such as operators of Internet marketplaces.
“The court holds that EU law requires the member states to ensure that the national courts with jurisdiction in relation to the protection of intellectual property rights are able to order the operator to take measures which contribute, not only to bringing to an end infringements of those rights by the users, but also to preventing further infringements of that kind,” the court continued. “Those injunctions must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and must not create barriers to illegitimate trade.”
L’Oréal in 2007 took legal action against eBay in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. over alleged counterfeit fragrances and cosmetics.