eBay, which was fined recently in an ostentatiously severe fashion ($ 63, 2 million) by a French commercial court for de facto allowing the sale of counterfeit luxury goods on its very popular site, had decided to urgently appeal the judgment.
It has now been announced that the court of appeals has confirmed the decision of the commercial court adding an extra (symbolic) fine of 10,000 euros for legal costs. They are maintaining the injunction that the auction site stop selling all perfume and cosmetic goods bearing a brand name from the LVMH luxury group, fake or not, namely: Kenzo, Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy.
According to Roger Parloff from Legal Pad, the decision affects the graymarket as well, including individuals who would wish to resell perfumes from these brands received as gifts (no word on vintage perfumes or cosmetics); the graymarket is not an issue in the US.
"The lower court's order bans not just sales of counterfeits, but sales of genuine bottles of these perfumes, because LVMH chooses to limit sales of these products to exclusive licensed distributors, and it does not permit its licensed distributors to sell over eBay....
"Thus, the order bans so-called graymarket sales -- sales of genuine products through unauthorized channels -- which are not considered illegal in the United States, but are in France. According to lawyers for both sides, the injunction even forbids individuals from reselling genuine LVMH products that they received as gifts.
The injunction apparently takes effect immediately, and violations will be punishable by daily fines of 50,000 euros (about $80,000)."
More particularly at this point, the decision immediately affects French buyers but not other citizens. eBay.fr posted an announcement today explaining that the legal battle was not over yet and that this decision was just a procedural one. Meanwhile however, they have had to comply where French consumers are concerned. They wrote in conclusion that,
"Sachez, chers utilisateurs, que nous allons continuer à nous battre pour vous, pour votre liberté d'acheter et de vendre et pour l'amélioration de votre pouvoir d'achat."
"May you rest assured dear users that we will continue the struggle on your behalf, for your freedom to buy and to sell and for the improvement of your purchasing power."