EU court opinion: eBay not liable on trademark dispute

LUXEMBOURG, Dec 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Internet auction site eBay
(EBAY.O: ) is generally not liable for trade mark infringements
committed by users on its site, the European Court of Justice
said in a non-binding opinion issued on Thursday.

However, ECJ Advocate General Niilo Jaaskinen said that if
eBay had been notified of the infringing use of a trade mark,
and a user continued to repeat that infringement, the company
could be held liable.

“The use of the disputed trade marks as keywords by eBay
does not necessarily result in misleading the consumers as to
the origin of the goods offered,” the advocate general found in
his written opinion.

“In cases where the ad itself is not misleading as to the
nature of the advertising Internet marketplace operator, the
function of the trademark of indicating the origin of the
product is not likely to be jeopardised.”

Opinions are upheld by the ECJ, Europe’s highest court, in
the vast majority of cases. The court is expected to issue its
judgment in a few months.

The case relates to allegations of trademark infringement on
eBay concerning L’Oreal (OREP.PA: ), the world’ largest cosmetics
maker.
In March, the ECJ found that Google (GOOG.O: ) had not
breached trademark law by selling keywords to trigger ads after
luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton and two other firms said the
practice undermined their brands. [ID:nLDE62L0P7]

(Writing by Luke Baker, editing by Rex Merrifield)

EU court opinion: eBay not liable on trademark dispute