EBay isn't liable for fake products: Company wins, customers lose

EBay (EBAY) won a lawsuit in a British court Friday, concluding that the company isn't liable for fake products sold on its website.

The company wins twice because it won't have to restrict what folks can sell or the number of auctions. Customers lose twice because they may buy a fake product and they won't have eBay helping them police fraudulent sellers.

As an eBay seller and buyer, it can be frustrating to not get what was described when you buy something. As a seller, you have to contend with hucksters bringing down the credibility of all sellers on eBay.

The ruling in London is that eBay Europe was not liable for trademark infringements by its users, The Wall Street Journal reported. EBay called the ruling a "victory for consumers and the thousands of entrepreneurs who sell legitimate goods on eBay every day."

The court did agree with L'Oreal's view that eBay could do more to prevent trademark infringement, the Journal story said. L'Oreal has now lost lawsuits against eBay in three European countries over sales of fake fragrances and cosmetics on eBay. The Journal noted that L'Oreal did win against eBay in Germany and awaits a decision in Spain.

EBay was not available for comment after a phone message was left by DailyFinance with the company's media relations department. Once again, with the U.K. court ruling in eBay's favor, the onus is on the user to determine whether they're buying on eBay is real or a hoax product.

Anthony Massucci is a senior writer for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter at hianthony.
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