PARIS — EBay is appealing a French court decision that the online auction giant should pay damages to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA for allowing a keyword search for the French company’s perfumes without authorization.

This story first appeared in the October 30, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Last month, eBay was ordered to pay 80,000 euros, or $117,820 at average exchange rates for the period, after LVMH complained keyword searches on the site for Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain perfumes provided links to sites selling these products.

EBay said this appeal could potentially have a favorable outcome, given last month’s nonbinding opinion by an adviser to the European Union’s highest court in an ongoing case pitting LVMH against Google Inc.

The adviser backed Google’s argument, saying the site should be able to continue selling trademark-protected terms as key words that link Internet searches to advertisements. However, he noted Google may be still liable if it features content that involves trademark infringement.

An official for LVMH declined to comment on eBay’s decision to appeal.

EBay is also appealing another court decision that in June awarded LVMH 38 million euros, or $55.7 million, in damages over the sale of fake LVMH merchandise on the auction site.

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